"Yet another pastor committed suicide. But this time, he was my close friend. And so I keep asking myself: How do I make sense of this? After all, this seasoned pastor wasn’t a phony Saul (1 Sam. 31:4). He was a genuine believer whose life bore much fruit. He wasn’t a guilt-ridden Judas (Mt. 27:5). He loved Jesus and understood Christ’s atonement; he had sound theology. Neither does it seem like he was running away from scandal. So how can I understand this shocking tragedy?"
The recent deaths of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade, and the death of actor Robin Williams in 2014, raise awareness of a disturbing fact. Even famous and accomplished people commit suicide. What’s more, the New Yorker claims that suicide rates increase following high-profile suicides like these. (Suicides jumped nearly 10% following the death of Robin Williams).
Following David’s awful sin of adultery with Bathsheba and the ensuing arranged murder of her husband, Uriah, he was confronted by Nathan the prophet. Among the consequences of his sins were that from his own household enemies would arise against him (2 Sam 12:10-11). Three of his sons—Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah—each caused serious problems for him and his successor, Solomon (2 Sam 13; 14-17; 2 Kings 1-2). There was another person, whose name also began with an “A,” who rose up against him as a betrayer. This man, Ahithophel, had been a close advisor to David and could even have been called “the smartest man in the world.”
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 Sam 16:23).
He evidently came out of his own retirement and joined the revolt of Absalom as his trusted advisor (2 Sam 16:23).
What is often overlooked, however, is that Ahithophel evidently became part of David’s family by marriage. Two passages explain that Ahithophel was the grandfather of Bathsheba (cf. 2 Sam 11:3 with 23:34). One need not speculate too much to see that when David “took” Bathsheba (2 Sam 11:4), Ahithophel must have left David’s service. Later, the crafty Absalom must have assumed (correctly) that Ahithophel would jump at the opportunity to get revenge against David so he asked him to come out of retirement—an offer that the old man simply could not refuse.
"So by violating the image of God in someone else, or I violate it in myself, it is the ultimate act of lack of faith, and without faith, it is impossible to please God."