“Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom,” David was told as he fled from the city to avoid going to war with his son’s forces. Just as he had fled from Saul to prevent a civil war, so too does he flee from his son Absalom to avoid a civil war. When he learns that Ahithophel is with Absalom, David prays ““O Lord, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.”   God doesn’t answer that prayer exactly. But he turns Absalom’s heart against Ahithophel’s advice and he follows the advice of foolish counselors which resulted in Absalom’s death and the end of the rebellion.

By comparing 2 Samuel 11:3 and 23:34, some believe that Ahithophel was the grandfather of Bathsheba, and that he was enraged because David had sexually molested her. He may not have raped her by force, but he used his rank and authority to seduce her. So Ahithophel may have wanted Absalom to destroy David and take the throne from him.

There are seven suicides in the bible. Ahithophel is one of them. But when he saw Absalom following advice that would lead to defeat, he was so despondent that he gave in to despair and took his own life. Not only had David’s family been destroyed by his sexual sin, Bathsheba’s family also was permanently marred.

Everyone has pain in their lives. There are those who have more. Only God knows why. But we can all forgive and move on to enjoy the life God has given us. We need not let the pain of our past destroy our joy of the present and or hope for the future. We need to adopt Pippa’s attitude.

Robert Browning once wrote a poem entitled “Pippa Passes” about an Italian girl. Because of her poverty and destitute family, she was forced to work every day during the entire year in the silk mills, but on New Year’s Day she was given the day off. In sheer joy, she walked through the streets of her town in northeast Italy, singing a song of faith with words that said:

The year’s at the spring, And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven; The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing; The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in his Heaven—All’s right with the world!