David had some very interesting – yet loyal – friends during his reign as king of Israel. Hushai is among the more intriguing ones, largely due to the fact that he may not have even been a native Israelite.
While David was fleeing from King Saul, he occasionally took refuge among non-Israelite people groups, such as the Philistines and the Moabites. During this time, he may have forged some relationships that seem to have lasted; some of the names listed among David’s most loyal soldiers and friends do not appear to be Israelite (2Sam. 23).
Hushai is described as an Arkite, a name that is associated in other places with Canaanites and other non-Israelite people groups (Gen. 10:15-19; 1Chron. 1:13-16). Even so, Hushai showed himself to be a faithful friend of David during the rebellion of David’s son, Absalom.
As David was fleeing Jerusalem, he sent Hushai back into the city; 1) because he said Hushai – who must have been up in years – would just slow him down, and 2) to act as a spy in the service of Absalom. When Absalom was seeking advice as to whether or not he should go after David, Hushai was able to foil the wise advice of Ahithophel and keep Absalom from overtaking David. He also sent messengers to notify David of the situation (2Sam. 16,17). Because of Hushai’s advice, David was kept safe – and, eventually, Absalom was killed.
Hushai’s service reminds us of the importance of loyalty. Ahithophel’s loyalty was fickle; it was determined solely by who was in power at the time. Hushai’s loyalty was to David, and changing circumstances did not weaken it.
To what degree can others depend on you?
Do you stick by people, regardless of what they have to offer you?
How many people would trust you with their lives?
* Loyalty remains loyal, especially when it is difficult to be so. Otherwise, it’s not really loyalty.
You can read Hushai’s story in 2Samuel 15:32—17:22 & 1Chronicles 27:33.