2 Samuel 17:15
So Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, "This is what Ahithophel has advised Absalom and the elders of Israel, and this is what I have advised.
Hushai's Advice PreferredC. Ness.2 Samuel 17:7-23
The Best CounsellorsManton, Thomas2 Samuel 17:7-23
Slight Services: a Sermon to Young PersonsB. Dale 2 Samuel 17:15-22

And a wench [the maidservant] went and told them, and they went and told King David (ver. 17). The people of Israel were divided into two parties - the good and the bad; the servants of King David, who had been driven away from Jerusalem, and the servants of Absalom, who had taken possession of the city and were now intent upon his destruction. The world is also divided into two parties, consisting of those who are for Christ and those who are against him. And the slight but useful services rendered to David illustrate similar services to Christ.

1. It is a good thing to be on the right side - to be a servant of "the King of kings and Lord of lords." Outside the city, two young men Jonathan and Ahimaaz, hiding themselves at En-rogel (the Fuller's Fountain), and waiting to carry news to the king; inside the city, their fathers (the high priests Abiathar and Zadok) and Hushai (the king's friend), preparing to send it: these were "faithful among the faithless found."

2. One who cannot do much can yet do something for his lord and master. If he cannot lead an army or give counsel in "the assembly of the elders," he can at least carry a message, like the brave Jonathan (1 Kings 1:42) and the swift-footed Ahimaaz (ch. 18:23); or, like the trusty maidservant of one of the high priests, who (as though going to the well for water) conveyed intelligence to them without suspicion. She could perform this service even more effectively than others in a higher station (2 Kings 5:2). The servant who has only "one talent" must not "hide it in the earth" (Matthew 25:25). Consider what you can do for Christ.

3. Small services may display great principles and qualities: love, obedience, diligence, veracity, fearlessness, faithfulness, self-control, self-denial, and self sacrifice. "He that is faithful in that which is least," etc. (Luke 16:10).

4. Hardly any service can be performed without difficulty and danger. "And a lad [probably on the watch] saw them," and gave information; so that they were closely pursued by Absalom's servants (soldiers) as far as Bahurim (2 Samuel 16:5). It was a race for life.

5. The servant who does his best will seldom fail to obtain opportune help. "And the woman took and spread the covering over the well's mouth," etc. (vers. 19, 20). "It was not the first nor yet the last time that an Israelitish woman wrought deliverance for her people" (Edersheim). Her motive was good; not her equivocation and deceit. Many circumstances and casual events, under the ordering of Divine providence, conduce to the safety and success of a faithful servant.

6. There is as much need of small services as great; and such services have frequently important issues; it may be escape from death. The message of Hushai, carried by the maidservant and communicated by the young men, contributed to the security and welfare of the king, "and all the people that were with him" (ver. 22). "In this information sent to him so opportunely, David believed that he had reason to recognize a new sign that the Lord still thought of him in love and cared for his deliverance" (Krummacher).

"Like the coolness of snow on a harvest day
Is a faithful messenger to them that send him:
He refresheth the soul of his master."

(Proverbs 25:13.)

7. They are surely noticed, and will be abundantly recompensed. "And the king said, He is a good man," etc. (2 Samuel 18:27). "And whosoever shall give to drink," etc. (Matthew 10:42). - D.

The counsel of Hushai the Archite.
Hushai saw that it was essential to gain time, "in order," to quote the words of Tacitus, "to give the disaffected time to repent, and the loyal time to unite: crimes gain by hasty action, better counsels by delay." His scheme was cleverly devised to appeal to Absalom's vanity and love of display. It seemed safe and easy: it was a far more attractive idea for Absalom to march in person against, David at the head of an immense army than for him to let Achithophel complete the revolution by a decisive action at once. His vanity proved his ruin. He forgot that s general levy would involve no slight delay: he forgot that the rising was by no means certain to be general, and that when the first surprise of the insurrection was over many would return their allegiance to David. But Absalom and his counsellors were blinded by a divinely-ordered infatuation.

(A. F. Kirkpatrick, M. A.)

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