Self-counsel is a troublesome thing!

 Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, “Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin on us and put the city to the sword. – 2 Samuel 15:14

David allowed Absalom to go to Hebron upon the premise that Absalom had made a vow that he would worship the LORD in Hebron if he had been brought back to Jerusalem. However, Absalom lied to his father and sought to escape his clutches for fear of retribution for the death of his brother, Amnon. David trusted Absalom and let him leave. While in Hebron, Absalom plotted a revolt against his dad and planned to take over the kingdom. David, in his haste, didn’t seek God, at least what we have recorded in Scripture, as to whether he should flee the city or stay and fight. Thus, David, as he had in the past, followed his self-counsel and fled the city to prevent harm to the citizens.

David had a history of following his own self-counsel. Years earlier when Saul hunted him down like a dog across Israel, David grew weary of running from Saul and decided to go to Gath and its king, Achish. David became a servant of this Philistine king and served him, and he asked Achish for a town to settle in and live. Achish gave him the town of Ziklag. David failed to follow the promise of God and trust Him that he’d be Israel’s next king and instead ran off to the enemy of Israel and lived in Ziklag, where he dwelt among the unbelievers.

Now many years later when his son, Absalom is seeking his life, David once again fails to seek God for guidance and decides for himself what to do. God told David that he would give him peace on all sides and establish his throne forever if his sons would walk in the commandments of God. We also know that this event took place after the birth of Solomon. Thus, this revolt by Absalom was partial fulfillment of prophecy from God that the sword would never leave the house of David. It began with Absalom and would continue all the way down the line of his descendants to Zedekiah, the last Judean king. David’s descendants were troubled by rebellion, wars, and all kinds of sin throughout Israel.

David’s act that led to this troubled life began with his affair with Bathsheba and his murdering her husband. If David had not followed his self-counsel to stay home instead of being out on the battlefield with his troops at war, he’d never have made the mistake with her or killed her man. David had a knack for getting into trouble when he listened to his self rather than seek God for guidance and direction.

We would all do well to learn from David this valuable and important lesson: Don’t make a move without consulting God first. It doesn’t matter how small and insignificant or how large and important the move may be. Seek God’s kingdom first and his righteousness, and He will add to us all the necessities of life. (This is a NT concept, but it was foreshadowed in the life lessons of OT people.) When we set out on our own without consulting God, we take our lives into our hands and become responsible for the consequences. It is like this – every step toward self-reliance is a step away from God. Think about it!

Father, help me to seek You out in every aspect of my life whether it be employment, vacation, major purchases, or even smaller actions. I want every part and area of my life to be in alignment with Your will and design for me and my family. Too long in life did I walk my path and do things out of my ability and power. It got me nothing but heartache and trouble, much like David. Yes, I realized my sins and errors and sought Your forgiveness and grace and mercy, but oh that life would have been so much easier and sweeter had I always come to You first. I invite You to meet with me at our appointed times of the day, but I humble myself before You and listen for Your beckoning to the prayer closet. Lead me and guide me; I will follow. In Jesus’ name, Amen.