2 Samuel 16 – 18, Luke 17:20-37 • Key Verse: 2 Samuel 16:15
One of the most grateful testimonies of the joy of forgiveness is Psalm 32, in which David
expresses both the pain of unforgiven sin and the pleasure of forgiveness. He suffered greatly for
his sins of adultery, abuse of power, cover-up and murder, all resulting from his lust of
Bathsheba. Covering sin brings pain, but forgiveness is a joy.
In 2 Samuel 17 there is a subtle but striking contrast between the forgiven man, David, and the
unforgiving man, Ahithophel. The first part of the contrast is obvious. David had sinned,
repented and found forgiveness but suffered from the effects of his deed.
The second part is not as obvious. Ahithophel was David’s best counselor, whose advice “was
like that of one who inquires of God” (16:23). But when Absalom rebelled, Ahithophel changed
sides. He became the counselor of the king’s son.
The reason for his betrayal is found in the genealogies. In 2 Samuel 23:34 it is recorded that
Ahithophel had a son, Eliam. In 2 Samuel 11:3 Eliam’s daughter is mentioned—-Bathsheba.
David’s adultery was with Ahithophel’s granddaughter.
When the opportunity came, Ahithophel joined the rebellion against the adulterer who had
murdered his granddaughter’s husband, Uriah. While David had found forgiveness, Ahithophel
had not forgiven. Sadly, it is possible to be forgiven by God but not by God’s people.
Ultimately, Ahithophel’s course led to suicide, while David died peacefully—a striking contrast
between the forgiven and the unforgiving. And a pointed lesson, aimed at our hearts, when we
fail to forgive.
Whom are you most like, the forgiven man or the unforgiving man? Ask God to help you be one
Woodrow Kroll & Tony Beckett