As I write this, Rock Hurley lies in a CCU awaiting open heart surgery. Phil Darlage had a filter implanted to prevent more clots in his lungs. I am now heading to meet with a family in Columbus to prepare for the father’s funeral service. So time is precious. I have borrowed from Marcia’s meditation on Friendship for tonight’s class. It is good to have a wife who is your best friend. Thanks Marcia!
As you read 1 Chronicles 27, your eyes move down the list of the officials who performed important tasks for King David. Azmaveth, son of Adiel, was in charge of the royal storehouses. Ezri, son of Kelub, supervised the field-workers who farmed the land. Jaziz the Hagrite took care of the flocks. Jehiel, son of Hacmoni, took care of the king’s sons. Ahithophel served as the king’s counselor. Joab commanded the royal army. Hushai the Arkite was the king’s friend.
The king’s friend?
Why is Hushai the Arkite listed among those who bore heavy responsibilities in David’s kingdom? Was he a relative who deserved mention? No. Did he pay David some bribe or special favor to be close to the king? Nothing on this charge either.
Apparently, David wanted at least one man among his trusted advisers who was simply a friend. And Hushai fit that role very well. Let’s take a look at what we can learn from Hushai about being a good friend.
One by one, David and his army had beaten his enemies and acquired their lands, weapons, and soldiers. And God had promised David that his kingdom and throne would be established forever. What more could a man ask for? Yet something important was missing from David’s life at a time when he desperately needed it: a friend.
David’s dear friend Jonathan was gone, and he felt the loss keenly.
I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women. 2 Sam. 1:26
As David entered middle age, the Scriptures do not mention any close friends. Interestingly, this was when he fell into deep sin—committing adultery with Bathsheba and then arranging the murder of her husband, Uriah, in battle (2 Samuel 11). Perhaps David learned an important lesson from this failure about the value of good friends—or, rather, the danger of not having any.
David needed a friend. Not just a friend in name, but someone who, like Jonathan, would be there to encourage and help him. Hushai became that kind of friend.
When David was being hunted by his own son Absalom, David and his followers wept as they walked along and covered their heads. As they ascended the Mount of Olives, who was there to meet David at the summit? Hushai the Arkite (2 Sam. 15:32).
What was Hushai doing there? The place where he met David was a special place to worship God. This verse says that Hushai’s robe was torn and that he had dust on his head. There is no doubt what he was doing: mourning for the hardships in David’s life and bringing his friend before God in prayer.
Hushai willingly entered into David’s troubles and allowed himself to feel what his friend was feeling. But he didn’t stop there. Hushai then lifted his friend up to God in prayer, knowing that He was the one who could help and comfort David in his day of distress.
What about us?
Most of us don’t have friends who are kings or queens. But we do know people who face hardships or discouraging circumstances and need our support. They are tempted to make wrong decisions sexually, financially, and ethically. Each needs a loyal friend, just as King David did.
How can you be a "Hushai" to someone who needs a good friend? Are you willing to walk into hardships to encourage, offer comfort, and pray? Are you willing to sacrifice your time, resources, energy, or maybe even put your reputation on the line to help a friend in need? Are you using your gifts and abilities to help your friend?
Each of us has an opportunity to be a "Hushai" today. Take a careful look at your friendships at church, at work, or in your neighborhood. Consider who needs your friendship and encouragement.
You may not save a kingdom. But you may carry a friend through tough times, protect her from a poor decision, or inspire him to be all God wants him to be. Hushai was that kind of friend to David. Whose "Hushai" are you?
Pray for Rock and Sally. Remember Phil and Brenda. Better yet, be a good friend. They wouldn’t ask for more.