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A Friend of Jesus, The One True King

Proverbs 22:11 (ESV) … “He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.”

We find the background for this psalm in 2 Samuel. In 2 Samuel 15:37 we discover that Hushai was “David’s friend.” Likewise, the New Testament identifies those who were numbered among the friends of the Lord Jesus: great David’s greater Son said, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14). Hushai’s conduct and conversation qualified him to be David’s friend.

Hushai entered the story of David at the time of the Absalom rebellion when the Lord’s anointed was being rejected of men. David’s fair-weather friends—the opportunists and self-seekers—had left him and thrown in their lot with Absalom. David soon found out who his real friends were. His mighty men stood by him. Ittai the Gittite brought his noble six hundred to David. Zadok and Abiathar the priests, along with a company of Levites, proclaimed their loyalty. Grim Joab remained true. Old Barzillai made his contribution. Poor Mephibosheth would have come to David’s aid if he had been able to walk.

The king’s small force was engaged in a strategic withdrawal from Jerusalem, and David needed time to gather his forces, choose his spot, plan the battle, and regain the initiative. Then along came Hushai. He must have been somewhat eccentric, for he came to meet David “with his coat rent, and earth upon his head” (2 Samuel 15:32). Such a demonstration was not going to win any battles, but David knew his man.

The cleverest man in the kingdom was Ahithophel, but he turned out to be David’s Judas. The second cleverest man in the kingdom was Hushai, David’s friend. David knew his friend’s worth. Hushai was not the kind of man David would put in the front line, but he was the kind of man David could send down to Jerusalem to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.

Hushai’s coming was an answer to prayer. David had just cleared the top of the mount of Olives when he received word that Ahithophel had openly joined the conspiracy. Then and there David had paused to pray: “O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness” (2 Samuel 15:31). God answered David’s prayer instantly. Even as he was praying, Hushai showed up.

“Look here, Hushai,” David said in effect. “I have just the job for you. Go to Jerusalem, pose as an Absalom sympathizer, insinuate yourself into Absalom’s court, and defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.” And that is just what Hushai did. He talked so cleverly that he put the fear of David into Absalom. Indeed Hushai talked that vain and foolish young man into following a policy that gave David the time he needed. Hushai’s counsel also guaranteed David his choice of battlegrounds and tactics. The words of David’s friend brought about the suicide of Ahithophel and lured Absalom to the place of maximum danger where finally he lost his life. Perhaps Solomon had one eye on Hushai when he wrote, “For the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.”

We are living in the days of the King’s rejection. The great rebellion of the age is sweeping many into open opposition to the Lord’s true Anointed. The Lord Jesus is looking for friends in this world. He is looking for those who are pure of heart, whose lips speak with grace, and who are willing to trust and obey.[1]

[1] Phillips, J. (2009). Exploring Proverbs 19–31: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Pr 22:11). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.


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