The Hiddenness of God’s Sovereignty (Davis)

At one point during David’s reign he and his administration actually had to flee Jerusalem (2 Sam. 15-18). Absalom, David’s son, had built up an army and was bent on taking the throne for himself. So David thought it best to leave the city. But David did appoint a spy to gather information from Absalom’s administration. The spy’s name was Hushai. At one point, Absalom listened to Hushai’s advice rather than the famous advisor Ahithophel’s advice (2 Sam. 17). It’s quite the story!

One question arises: why would Absalom listen to Hushai rather than the trusted Ahithophel? If you read the story it does cross your mind. But the narrator gives us a hint in 2 Samuel 17:14b: “The Lord had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom” (NIV). In fact, not long before this David prayed that God would frustrate Ahithophel’s counsel (2 Sam. 15:31b). Again, it’s quite the story!

I like how Dale Davis comments on 2 Samuel 17:14b:

Hushai’s mix of apparent reason and graphic imagery works its magic. Absalom & Co. issue a revised decision: ‘The counsel of Hushai the Arkite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel’ (v. 14a; see v. 4). Hushai’s finesse, however, cannot account for this reversal. There is a secret behind it, and the writer shares it in verse 14b:

“Now Yahweh had ordained to nullify the good counsel of Ahithophel, in order that Yahweh might bring disaster upon Absalom.”

That is the explanation for the whole story, for all this which has occurred so naturally, so humanly, so freely. Yahweh had ordained it. That may raise some questions for you. But remember: Yahweh’s sovereignty is not meant to give you philosophical problems but spiritual comfort. And the primary characteristic of his sovereignty in this passage is its hiddenness. There are no trumpets, no turmoil, no billboards or bumper stickers. No glitzy, frenetic commercials like car dealers blast out on television. Only this quiet text, this discreet aside (v. 14b). The plot against Yahweh’s king has gone to pot. Why? Yahweh had ordained it.

More often than not that is the manner of God’s work. His sceptre is unseen, his sovereignty hidden behind the conversations and decisions and activities and crises of our lives. We see only grocery lines and diaper changes and school assignments; but through and over and behind it all Yahweh rules. He is not absent but neither is he obvious.

Davis, Dale Ralph. 2 Samuel: Out of Every Adversity. Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications, 2002. Print. Focus on the Bible Commentary.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015

2 thoughts on “The Hiddenness of God’s Sovereignty (Davis)”

  1. yes we all need to be reminded of His sovereighty. He rules over all. and not a hair shall fall off your fead without His will. durining these trying times We are beining tested.. More so than ever.. as faiyhfull churches how can and should our lite shine.By being obediant to Gods Word.Romans 13 makes it very cllear whom we should obey.This iis God telling us how stabillety is obtained If we do not chaos is the result .. This whole covid thingi is not about obaying man rather than God This is a case where WWWEEE IIIII are not going to be told to wear a mask to be inmunized We as the church of all ages DO NOT FALL IN TO MY RIGHTS TRAP We all know it .. But the doing seems to be or is failing in our church.es, that is opc unrc THIS a word from an old ellder, Please pastors ,-elders special elders, get tough in this matter USE DICIPLINNE . th.e devil is hard at work . This is war .Soi arm saying T here is no time to loose . PLEASE get this message to the all the churches YES START trouble HOLY trouble. Alert THE SEMENARIIES Why is there a blindness about thiis ill speak for our body here in edmonton ab.devision in families people leaving without due Biblecal cause HELP.. . BUT ALL GLORY TO HIM THE SOVEREIGN ONE Fred Lenten/

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  2. I comented on this did you get it? It is very important please let me know God bles you in all your work but work is now going into batte stage please do not waste time on what is lost now start the battle of God saving the saints through the Church in HIS sevice FRED LENTEN a little cog in the wheel

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