Bible Reading Blog
“You Find Out Who Your Friends Are”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: 2 Samuel 16-17
“So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city, just as Absalom was entering Jerusalem.” (2 Samuel 15.37)
Absalom’s conspiracy was now in full force. He had won the hearts of the people (2 Samuel 15.6) and many who once seemed loyal to David had deserted him. The most crippling of these was Ahithophel the Gilonite (2 Samuel 15.12, 31). David knew the value of his counsel and saw it as his greatest threat in this revolt (see 2 Samuel 15.31, 34; 16.23). The rebellion of his son and desertion of this critical counselor were emotional for David (2 Samuel 15.30). The tables had turned so quickly, surely David wondered if everyone was against him.
But in this difficult season, David found out who his friends were. Ittai, a sojourner vowed his loyalty and would eventually lead a third of David’s forces against Absalom (2 Samuel 15.21; 18.2). The priests, Zadok and Abiathar, became David’s ears on the inside, helping to communicate Absalom’s plans. Most notably Hushai, David’s friend (2 Samuel 15.37, 16.16), served as the key agent in destroying the counsel of Ahithophel and bringing Absalom down (2 Samuel 17.14). Through the support of his friends, David was saved from harm.
Although not stated, the loyalty of these men reflected David’s character and the relationship he had developed with them. No doubt they remembered his integrity towards Saul. They had seen his loyalty in leading them in battle. These men were confident and committed to their friend because he had done so for them.
Friendship is a blessing from God that can greatly enrich our lives. God encourages us to have people that make us sharper and more effective (Proverbs 27.17). He wants us to be around people who care about our best interest (Philippians 2.4) and will speak the truth to us in love (Proverbs 27.5-6; Ephesians 4.25, 29). These relationships are critical because difficult circumstances are when we need friends. We need to surround ourselves with those who will stand with us, not just when it is easy. We need people who will weep with us when we weep, and who are willing to be there when it is awkward and uncomfortable. These relationships don’t just happen when the hard times come; they are developed over time and on purpose.
Just like David, if we want to find these kinds of people, we need to be these kinds of people. We need to foster loyalty, not just with our actions but also our words. We need to sit with others in their hard times and speak courage to the faint-hearted. In good times and bad, we need to be true friends.
Difficult circumstances always reveal true character. When those times come, what sort of friends will you have? What sort of friend will you be?
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17.17)