I want to share on a strange subject and that is spiritual suicide. First thing in looking at this is read 2nd Samuel 17 to gain some context of what is happening. What I want to focus on is 2nd Samuel 17:23 which says: 23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and arose and went to his home, to his city, and set his house in order, and strangled himself; thus he died and was buried in the grave of his father.
Here are a few thoughts on this verse and on suicide and spiritual suicide based off this verse.
If you are like me you might wonder: Why did he kill himself? Was it self-pity? Was something like, If you are not going to listen to my advice, I am just going to get mad and take my life and make you all feel sorry for it. Why do you think he traveled home to killed himself? Was it to get away from what was happening? It could be that he was the best adviser ever and most likely he had not face rejection of his counsel like this before and that might have led him down the path of going home and killing himself.
I really do not see any of this as the reason.
Here is the thing; Ahithophel is not dumb by any stretch of the imagination. He knows that what just happened with Absalom taking the advice of Hushai, it is the end of Absalom. He knows that because Absalom is following this advice that it will not take long for David to put together a plan which will be a good one because David would have time to work things out. Remember, Ahithophel has most likely been David’s advisor for thirty years and he knows all too well how David operates. He knows that even though David is old and not as good as he used to be that he is still a military genius and he will work all this out in his favor. Ahithophel knows that David will win because God is with him.
And he also knows that when David comes back to the kingdom that there is no place for him and even more than that he is going to have to answer for his betrayal and face execution! So in his bitterness he has decided that he is really he is not going to give David the privilege of having him executed so he is just going to go home and take his life.
It all boils down to this: Ahithophel did not kill himself over hurt feelings because his counsel was rejected. Instead, he was wise enough to know that under Hushai’s plan Absalom would fail and Ahithophel would be implicated in the conspiracy. He knew all would be lost and that he was going to die anyway.
Ahithophel committed suicide, and we know that suicide is a sin because it is self-murder and God commands, you shall not murder in Exodus 20:13. Yet suicide should not be regarded as an unforgivable sin. Suicide is wrong and very selfish, but also understand that it is not the unpardonable sin, the only unpardonable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit which is talked about in Matthew 12:31. What Jesus was referring to there was the rejection of the work that the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives, which is to draw people to Christ. If you reject Christ you are blaspheming the work of the Holy Spirit and condemning yourself to eternal separation from God. Yes, when a Christian commits suicide it paints a bad picture of God and destroys the witness that they leave behind, but they don’t lose their salvation. Anyone who does commit suicide has given in to the lies and deceptions of Satan, whose purpose is to kill and destroy as we read about in John 10:10.
Think about it, Ahithophel may have been one of the wisest men ever, but this was nothing but foolishness. When a person commits suicide, they are taking the easy way out. They are leaving all their problems behind to be taken care of by their loved ones. They leave behind people who will feel overwhelmed with grief and guilt, wondering, “If I had only said this or done that …” Ahithophel is only thinking of himself which was brought on by his own bitterness. Suicide is an act of extreme selfishness and this selfishness in Ahithophel’s life is brought on by his bitterness. Bitterness in your life will eat away at you and eat away at you. Bitterness never has a positive end it has to be taken care of by forgiveness.
Take a close look at this account: set his house in order, and strangled himself. To set his house in order, showed that he was a wise man; to hang himself, proved that he was a fool. You have here a strange mixture of good judgment and foolishness and of a solid mind and madness. Just think about it, he took the time to arrange his worldly affairs with care, and still he was so miserable that he took his own life. Such a sad set of circumstances- suicide is never an answer and if you have those type of thoughts you need to let others know and seek help.
There are thousands that will set their houses in order, but destroy their souls not by taking their physical life but by destroy their souls none the less. These are the people that look over all the details of life and the best for everything except for their hearts’ best interests. They gather broken shells with continuous hard work, but they throw away priceless diamonds. They exercise planning, cautiousness, care, everywhere around them except for where it is most required. They save their money and buy big things, they have it all and have their kids involved in all but in doing so they squander any real joy and commit suicides with their souls. They might not be like Ahithophel and literally take their own lives – they do it slower – they do it day by day as the neglect the most important parts of life.
They do commit spiritual suicide day by day as they neglect their souls. They do it day by day as they make time for everything else in life and do not make any time for God. It is a sad thing to see people who tell you how busy they are with things of this world and make time for the insignificant but yet make no time for the eternal. Is this you? Are you so busy making time and seeking out treasures of this world that you are slowly committing spiritual suicide? Are you slowly starving out and making numb the spiritual part of your life?
I beg of you to begin today to make time for the most important thing that will make you a better father, mother, husband, wife, worker, boss, student- what is this, it is taking time with God and seeking out and doing things that will build you spiritually! Too often we feed everything every longing we have in life and do not feed the spiritual longing. We feel guilty for a moment and say I should do the bible study or I should do this or that to help my spiritual life – yet we do not do it. We feel guilty and say I should read my bible and pray and yet we do not do it. In not doing what we know we are to do we are slowly committing spiritual suicide. As a matter of fact in doing that – we are sinning James 4:17 says, Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. So please stop feeling guilty and sinning and start putting action to what you know to do! Do the right things and you will see real life , do the right things and stop committing spiritual suicide
Any thoughts on this today?