Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Am I a True Friend?

2 Samuel 15:37 So Hushai, David’s friend, went into the city. And Absalom came into Jerusalem.

David had sinned   He had confessed that sin, and the Lord had forgiven him.  However, He told David that there would be earthly consequences to murdering Uriah so he could have his wife.  When Absalom decides to rebel against David and tries to take the kingdom, I am sure David realized this was happening because of his sin.  Absalom was a beautiful cunning man.  He reminds us of our real enemy Satan, doesn’t he?  David is forced to flee Jerusalem, but he is willing to put Himself into the hands of the Lord.  He trusted the Lord to deal with him in a right way. I find three people to be interesting studies as Absalom rebels and David flees.  One is Ahithophel, one is Hushai and one is Joab.

Ahithopel was a wise counselor, but he was also Bathsheba’s grandfather.  (Compare 2  Samuel 11:3 and 2 Samuel 23:34).  It appears that he had not forgiven David and held a grudge.  He sided with Absalom apparently thinking that now David would get what he deserved.  In his advice to Absalom, he wanted to destroy David but not David’s army, and he wanted to do it in battle.  That is the way David had destroyed Bathsheba’s husband Uriah.  While Ahithophel’s attitude is understandable, he only destroyed himself by not forgiving David.  When his counsel was not followed, he went home and hanged himself.

Hushai was David’s friend.  He had David’s back, that is, he protected him even though he likely knew all about David’s failures.  He was loyal.  That is what having a friend is all about.  They may rebuke you, they may disagree with you, but they stick by you and defend you against those who are not your friends.  A true friend is a friend at all times. (See Proverbs 17:17).  Hushai was a friend to David.

Joab was one of David’s generals.  He was related to David, but Joab was self-willed and self-centered.  He was also cruel, and he was strong.  David admitted that Joab and his brothers were two strong for him, that is, he could not control him.  David wanted Joab to do his best to preserve the life of Absalom, but Joab thought he was doing David a great service when he disobeyed and killed Absalom.  Another soldier could have killed Absalom but didn’t because he heard David command Joab to deal with Absalom kindly.  Joab told that soldier that he would have rewarded him if he had killed Absalom when he had the chance.  That soldier had Joab’s number and told him that he knew Joab wouldn’t have rewarded him.  He knew that David would find out, and he would be called to account by David for disobeying.  When that happened, he knew Joab would not have his back.  (See 2 Samuel 18:13).  Joab was all about Joab.

How do we Treat the Lord?

When we think of David, we like to see him as a picture of Christ in his humiliation and rejection.  Of course, Christ did not sin while David did so in that respect the picture fails.  But we do have to ask ourselves, “What kind of friends are we to the Lord?”   Are we grudge bearers?  Do we use the Lord to promote our own “ministries” and “businesses” and “positions?”  Or are we true loyal friends of the Lord?  Do we have His back when He is stigmatized and criticized?  Do we do what He wants us to do even when it isn’t what we want to do? 

How do we Treat One Another?

We know that the whole of the moral law is summarized by loving God and loving one another.  I have been looking at these three characters in relationship to loving God but we should also consider them in relationship to loving one another.  Normally when we talk to people about this issue, they say, “I wish I had one friend like Hushai.”  But the better question is, “Have I ever been a friend like Hushai?”  Have I been that kind of friend to the Lord?  Have I ever been that kind of friend to another person?  That is a searching question as far as I am concerned. 

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of April 23, 2014

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