When Bad Counsel Achieves God’s Good Will

2 Samuel 17:14

For the Lord had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom.

When David’s son, Absalom, was pursuing David to kill him, David’s friend Hushai was spying for David. In an effort to kill David, Absalom asked for two counsels: Ahithophel’s and Hushai’s.

The advice of Ahithopel was wise: gather 12,000 soldiers and Ahithophel himself will only kill David. There would be no collateral damage. And he will bring all the people of Israel to Absalom peacefully.

The advice of Hushai was the opposite: they needed more than 12,000 soldiers. In fact, Hushai wanted to gather all the Israelites as numerous as the sand, and Absalom himself needed to join the troops to kill David. An appeal to his pride.

Though Ahithophel’s advice was wiser and easier, Absalom chose Hushai’s advice.

Why? Because God answered David’s prayer in 15:31: “O LORD, please turn the counsel of Ahithopel into foolishness.”

2 Samuel 17:14 says that “the Lord had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom.”  In other words, even the good advice was doomed for a reason – God himself had already determined to defeat Absalom through Hushai’s bad advice.

When my ex’s parents forced him to break up with me because of weird reasons, I questioned why he would even listen to the dumb reasonings. Looking back, I know that God has used his parents and those influencing them, to achieve God’s purposes in my life.

Know that when people make bad choices and you are at the receiving end, God’s hand is upon you and He is working behind the scenes to achieve His purposes.


God delights in blessing us

​“The LORD will again take delight in prospering you.” (Deuteronomy 30:9)

And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more.  (2 Samuel 12:8, ESV)

While I was having dinner with my mom, she shared how she never expected our business to grow. When my dad passed away 10 years ago, my mom had to handle a business she had no idea how to run. Every night, she would pray for wisdom and ask for the next steps. She didn’t aspire for the business to boom, just survive. But God has proven faithful to our family.

Indeed, God is a God who delights blessing His children. 

Almost everyday, I pray for wisdom for God to direct our steps. I always tell God that the business is His, not ours, and allow Him to do whatever He wishes to do. 

While I hate the prosperity gospel theology, I also cannot dismiss how God delights in blessing us in various ways – mercies, faithfulness, grace, love, peace, health and even material things. 

The verses above which I read today and last night, are reminders of God’s character:

  1. He delights in prospering us
  2. There is no limit to what He can give
  3. He is the source of all blessings

David and Bathsheba – From Peeking to Killing

How easy is it for a Christian to fall into sin?

Very easy. 

For David, it started with not joining his men for war, walking on his rooftop, seeing a beautiful woman bathing, sleeping with her, and eventually committing a murder.

David spins one lie after another to cover up his previous lie. By law, he should be killed for his adultery, instead he used his power and position to get away with it. He called Uriah to Jersulem to encourage him to sleep with his wife, even giving him a gift. When that did not work, he got him drunk, hoping he would go home to his wife. But that didn’t work either so he sends a letter to Joab, by the hand of Uriah, commanding Joab to put Uriah in a dangerous position to be killed.

It is important to note that Uriah was one of David’s mighty men. His father and grandfather were also influential people. David might have fought with Uriah in the past.

I believe there were even collateral damage from what David did. Joab made a “foolish” strategy and many people were killed so that the murder of Uriah would not be obvious. When the news of Uriah’s death came, David marries Bathsheba and does not even repent from what he did.

It seems that from the start, David has been walking with God and living out being a man after God’s heart, then his walk suddenly crashes and spins out of control. Up to this point, he was a king who had riches, territories, wives, children. He had peace from his enemies. He had renewed his covenant with God – then this.

No one can really tell when you’ll fall into sin so we should not always be watchful. And if we do, we should stop, repent and run back to God instead of trying to cover our dirty tracks. 


Dear Nejjy,

As you read this, you have probably already arrived in Dumaguete where Jaja awaits her older sister. 

I wanted your last night in Manila spent with me because I am clingy. And though I have only planned to attend vesper with you, I thought of taking you out for dinner and bringing you back to where #AldubMolitoChapter all began.

I remember our first dgroup with Joy because I also blogged about it. I taught Ephesians 5:1 to both of you at Bo’s coffee after I ordered super dry chocolate and lemon muffins… grr.. 

Tonight, we come in full circle in the very same table where we first had our dgroup. Only this time we only went inside Bo’s Coffee to take our photo and not order anything hahaha.

Since March last year, I have seen you grow not just emotionally, spritually but also physically… hahaha. Love you. I am proud of you and even more grateful to God because He has allowed me to mentor you – even if I am very unworthy of this calling. I remember the nights when you don’t sleep because you are so addicted in studying the book of Daniel. Now you are so addicted in studying Leviticus, Deutoronomy, Numbers, while people asked me to pray for them because they find these books boring. (Also, sleep is for the weak). I watch you volunteer in ministries and not just take passive roles but really give your everything in it and be blessed by your leaders becaus of your servant heart (what is unliserve).

In a span of one year, I saw you become more prayerful, more faithful, more clingy, more generous, become more Christ-like, become more extrovert.. Thank you so much for being my accountability partner, prayer warrior and the person I discuss the Bible with. Thank you for crying on my behalf because I am so manhid.. thank you for never judging, for always listening, allowing me to rant. Thank you for being the only person who reads this blog. Hahahaha.

I thought about how relationships come and go and I pondered on our friendship/sisterhood. I realized that you may be far and time and busyness might pull us apart but the promise of heaven remains. Time is never enough when we are together but we have eternity together too because of Jesus. And that gives me comfort knowing that #MayForever (Please note, this is not a eulogy).

I am excited for what’s in store for you. I know your heart is for discipleship, church planting and evangelism and I know that God has a purpose for bringing you to Manila then changing your heart and putting that desire for you study Med. Please don’t forget to teach me micropara because I need to renew my scam medical license hahahaha. Thank you so much for consistently praying for my PM1, for talking with me til 2am in the morning, for cooking for us, for always lending a listening ear. I love you Nejjy.

So much has happened in one year, and though it’s heartbreaking for you to leave, I know your mission in life and I fully support you. I am proud, blessed, happy to be your discipler. 😍😍😍

You are an answered prayer to my faithful, available, teachable, servant-leader disciple request from God. Now go and make disciples (and plant CCF Duma)!!!

Love lots,

Assumera Rich

How long will you grieve

1 Samuel 16:1

The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.”

1. How long will you grieve over ________

It is not a sin to grieve, but grieving too long over something not aligned with God’s will is not godly. God asked Samuel to stop grieving over someone he loves  because he has a bigger assignment from God and dwelling on the past, on a case already decided by God, is useless. We have to accept God’s plan and stop gloating over disappointments.

I have to move on and stop grieving over him because he isn’t in line with God’s will. Grieving over him rehashes pain unnecessarily.

2. Since I have rejected ________

Saul was rejected by God because of his disobedience to Him.

In the same way, God has rejected this person from being part of my life because he isn’t going to where I am supposed to go.

3. Fill the horn with oil and go.

Samuel has a new task, which is why it is essential that he stops grieving over Saul. Immediately, God told him to fill the horn with oil and go because he is annointing someone.

When God tells us to end one thing, He has a purpose for it. It also involves action. 

4.  I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.

God tells us to move on and to stop living in the past because He has something better in store that will glorify Him.
Samuel set aside his emotions to obey God. He himself provides the replacement for what we grieve over. But we have to obey Him first.

When Inner Martha Kicks In

I repent from my self-sufficiency.

My lack of quiet time this week has led me to be less conscious of God’s presence. I did open my Bible and study His Word but it was for the purpose of our curriculum write up and dgroup lesson. I didn’t spend time to enjoy God’s presence, but to prepare Bible studies for others. I did watch several youtube videos and listened to podcasts, but those are not the same with sitting down and having a date with the Lord.

After yesterday’s (Friday’s) Bible study, I found myself critical of the two HR employees whom I found staying at the reg booth, eating donuts with crumbs falling between the pages of the attendance sheet I prepared. It was 4:10 pm in the afternoon and people are still not in the respective rooms. I asked the two girls why are the attendees still not inside the room. They answered, “We’ve been calling them but they still won’t come.”

At the back of my head, I was thinking, what kind of excuse is that? Both of you are eating donuts instead of calling people to be on time for the Bible study. The facilitators are volunteers. They don’t get paid for what they do. They purposely take leaves from work just so they can teach here. And the only thing we can give them is respecting their time. 

But God rebuked me.

My inner Martha kicked in. Always trying to make things perfectly planned for a good cause, but forgetting what really matters – the heart.

I was so busy ensuring the employees arrive on time. I was busy making sure everyone was fed with donuts and coffee, but forgot to even pray days before and hours before, which I always did.

Ecclesiastes 1 – All is Vanity

Ecclesiastes 1: 18 – For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases in knowledge increases sorrow.

When you play The Sims, you select a life aspiration for your Sim. It can be a family, wealth, pursuit of knowledge, love or whatnot. In real life, we also have our own aspirations and there’s nothing  wrong pursuing these things. Let’s see what the wisest man (aside from Jesus) had to say about these.

The Book of Ecclesiastes

This was most probably written by King Solomon, the son of King David. Throughout chapter 1, he describes himself as the “Preacher”. In the original Hebrew, it is translated as “Qoheleth” meaning collector (of wisdom). 1 Kings 3:12 says that Solomon’s wisdom came from God. And that this wisdom exceeded everyone else’s.

Everything is a mist

Yet as he writes Ecclesiastes 1:2, he says, “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity”. What does man gain by all the toil, at which he toils under the sun? (1:3)

Everyone works hard under an astronomical object yet gains nothing purposeful. The sun rises in the east and hastens to set in the south. The streams flow to the sea, but it doesn’t overflow. There is nothing new under the sun (1:9) Even new scientific discoveries are just discoveries, not new things (1:10). Recent news say we are made up of star stuff. But even that is just a new discovery, it wasn’t created by man. Generations come and go and no one of the past is remembered, nor will anyone in the future will be remembered forever. Such is the life of man, and how big and powerful we think we are, when in reality, everything else in nature moves and cycles by itself.

Try to spray a water mist then catch it.


Your career is a mist. Your investments are a mist. You waking up and commuting to work is a mist. All your labor, all your pursuit are a mist.

After acquiring so much wealth (which will be discussed in the later chapters), Solomon opens his collection of writing to conclude that everything is vanity. The word vanity is translated to “Hebel” in Hebrew, meaning mist, vapor or mere breath. Everything is just a mist.

Even wisdom is vanity

Sometimes when I have doubt about God, I doubt to the point that I even doubt my doubt. The mind is weird thing! In Solomon’s  great wisdom, he became busy with studying all the happenings under the sun. He applied his heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly but realized that even knowing wisdom was a futile. It was like striving after the wind!

Smallness of Man and the Immensity of God

All these realizations by Solomon (a person who had everything!) points out that even the greatest and most noble of pursuits are futile, and we can spend our whole lives trying to figure out the meaning of our lives – yet in the end realize that we chased things that seem meaningful, but in the grand scheme of things are actually but mist.

So it is my prayer that we see how small and irrelevant we truly are in God’s sight, and how immense He is. We have to heed the Preacher’s warning and strive to live a life pursuing truly valuable things.

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean.
A vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I’m calling.
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling.
And You’ve told me who I am.
I am Yours, I am Yours.