Monday, April 1, 2024

God of Better

There comes a point when even the man after God's own heart's life gets messy. Yes, we're talking about David. And we're talking about when his son, Absalom, starts trying to usurp authority and take over the kingdom of Israel for himself. 

Absalom is not a dumb guy. Foolish, maybe, but not dumb. He knows that he needs some guidance on what he wants to do. So he goes and he asks a good friend how he should approach his battle against his own father. And he gets some advice. 

But just to be sure, he goes and gets some other advice. And now, he has a decision to make. 

What's interesting here is that God actually leads him to make the more foolish choice. God leads Absalom to accept Hushai's plan over Ahithophel's, even though it's clear to anyone else looking at the data that Ahithophel's plan is literally dripping with wisdom and good battle strategy. 

This is a challenge for all of us who tend to make our decisions by doing whatever seems good. We think that if we just look at the evidence and choose the "good" thing, then we will be doing God's will - we will be following God's plan and making the choice that God would want us to make. 

What this story reminds us is that God doesn't always condone the obviously good plan...and when He doesn't, it's because He is doing something better

Yes, that's right - sometimes God isn't doing what is obviously good because He's doing something better. 

Of course, we have several other factors playing into this particular story in 2 Samuel 17. We have the sin of Absalom, of course. We have the sin of David. We have the brokenness of Israel as a people. We have all kinds of things going on here that influence what God determines is best here, rather than what just looks subjectively good on the outside. 

But isn't that true of our own lives, as well? We are always dealing with our own sin. And the sin of others. And the brokenness of the human species. And all kinds of other things that influence the way that God probably sees things. 

So it is wise for us, then, to not only look for what seems obviously good, but to continually ask God. Because sometimes, as this story tells us, God has planned to thwart what is good...for the sake of something better. 

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