Surrounded by Community (2 Samuel 16:23) - Radical

Surrounded by Community (2 Samuel 16:23)

“Now in those days, the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the word of God. So was all the counsel of Ahithophel esteemed, both by David and by Absalom.”
-2 Samuel 16:23

So here’s a man, Ahithophel, whose counsel is so sought after and regarded, that it’s like consulting the word of God, many people think. Yet, 2 Samuel 16, gives us a picture of counsel given by Ahithophel that is sinful and evil to the core, yet it’s trusted and Absalom ends up sinning in a horrible ways, in a hurtful ways, in response to this council.

We need people around us who walk in the Spirit, according to God’s Word, to help us and counsel us.

In this way, 2 Samuel 16, is a reminder to us. We all need good, wise, holy, godly counsel in our lives. The Bible tells us this over and over and over again. Left to ourselves, we are prone to foolishness. We need people around us and specifically people walking in step with the Holy Spirit, according to God’s word, who help us, who give counsel to us. And don’t we want to be counselors like that in others’ lives?

When I think about this, I think I’m going to have conversations today with friends, family members, my kids, who will ask me for counsel in this way or that way. I want to be walking so in step with the Holy Spirit of God, so in tune with the word of God, that whatever counsel I give to someone else, is good for them and glorifying to God. Don’t you?

This is where we realize, our quiet time in the morning, our relationship with God, our intimacy with God, is not just about us. It’s about others. Like the people around us, need us walking with God as we encourage them, counsel them, in their lives. So husband or wife, or mom or dad, your spouse, your kids, more than anything else they need from you, they need you walking with God, as you influence their life.

And not just in our homes. Regardless of whether you are single or married, or have children or not, we have people all around us every day, who we will either point toward God and his ways, or away from God and his ways; with good counsel or with bad, unhelpful counsel.

So, God, we pray, that you would help us to be good, wise, holy counselors for others. Help us to point others to you all day long. Help us to walk in step with your Spirit, in obedience to your word, that we might be helpful to everyone we come in contact with; in our homes, outside our homes, at work and your church. God, we pray that you’d help us to be good, wise, holy, godly counselors in others’ lives. Help us to speak good words to others that spur them on towards you, in obedience to you.

And God, we pray for that in our lives. We pray that as we make decisions, as we walk through and whatever today, tomorrow holds, we pray that you would help us. That you would surround us with good, wise, holy, godly counselors. And God, we pray that you’d help us to discern what is good counsel and what is not, according to your word, according to your Spirit.

Help us not to trust counsel that does not come from you. Oh God, we pray all of this in light of 2 Samuel 16, in Jesus’ name and the name of the one who is our wisdom and our help at all times. In Jesus’ name and the name of the one who is our help and our wisdom and whose Spirit is in us as our counselor. All glory be to your name. Help us to walk in step with you, oh God, with your Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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