Posted by: rodalex87 | May 11, 2015

When Suicide Becomes an Option

“When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city.  He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father” 2 Samuel 17:23

What do we find our identity in?  What do we live for?  When we ask ourselves these questions we either get energized as we reflect on our purpose for living or we get discouraged if we have an empty answer.  To no longer exist is a the ultimate resolution for someone who views their life as utterly meaningless.  Now I do not presume to know the mindset of every person who has chosen to end their lives.  I also am sensitive to those that have lost a loved one through self-inflicted means.  I do however believe that when someone sees their life with no purpose suicide becomes an option.

The reign of the great King David is recorded in the Bible’s Book of 2 Samuel.  Within this story we learn about a counselor named Ahithophel.  The counselor was a great adviser for King David but was convinced by Absalom, the son of David, to leave the king and join Absalom in overthrowing David’s kingdom.  Ahithophel is recorded to have advised Absalom in having sexual relations with 10 of his father’s concubines on the roof for all of Israel to see (which fulfilled a prophecy from earlier in David’s life).  While Absalom longed to do anything to disrespect his father, his was also motivated to follow the advice because of Ahithophel’s reputation.

“Now in those days the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the word of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithophel esteemed, both by David and by Absalom” 2 Samuel 16:23

Whatever Ahithophel said was followed.  Everyone listened to him.  Except once.  And that one time ended his life.

David had a friend named Hushai who was on a mission to save the King.  He did so by earning the trust of Absalom so much so that when Ahithophel advised to send an army of 12,000 to defeat King David, Absalom sough Hushai for a second opinion.  Hushai cleverly explained how that was a bad idea and blatantly said “the advise of Ahithophel is not good.”  Absalom listened to Hushai which leads us to the verse this post opened with: Ahithophel set his house in order and hanged himself.

Why would a man hang himself after not being listened to just one time?  Perhaps because his very identity was found in others following his counsel.  Consequently, he did not see a reason to live if he could not counsel.

Let us take heed and be careful not to find our identity in a reputation or position that can be taken from us in an instant.  Let us find purpose in our eternal significance (in the eyes of God) or we may find ourselves purposeless. And without purpose, suicide becomes an option.

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