Then the man's wife took a covering and spread it over the mouth of the well, scattering grain over it so nobody would know a thing.
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."
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.
, Jordan River
TopicsAnything, Bruised, Corn, Cover, Covering, Crushed, Face, Grain, Groats, Ground, Hole, Mouth, Nothing, Opening, Scattered, Spread, Spreadeth, Strewed, Taketh, Thereon, Well's
Outline1. Ahithophel's counsel is overthrown by Hushai's15. Secret intelligence is sent unto David23. Ahithophel hangs himself25. Amasa is made captain27. David at Mahanaim is furnished with provisions
Dictionary of Bible Themes2 Samuel 17:19
Library"The King Kissed Barzillai. " 2 Sam. xix. 39
And no wonder, for David could appreciate a real man when he saw him, and so does David's Lord. I.--LOYALTY IS PRECIOUS TO THE KING OF KINGS. In the days when the son of Jesse had but few friends, it was a precious thing to be treated in the style Barzillai and his neighbours entertained him (see 2 Sam. xvii. 27-29). They were rich farmers, and had land which brought forth with abundance, so were able to act with princely hospitality to the fugitive monarch. But plenty may live with avarice, and …
Thomas Champness—Broken Bread
The Nations of the South-East
Israel was cut in two by the Jordan. The districts east of the Jordan were those that had first been conquered; it was from thence that the followers of Joshua had gone forth to possess themselves of Canaan. But this division of the territory was a source of weakness. The interests of the tribes on the two sides of the river were never quite the same; at times indeed they were violently antagonistic. When the disruption of the monarchy came after the death of Solomon, Judah was the stronger for the …
Archibald Sayce—Early Israel and the Surrounding Nations
BY REV. GEORGE MILLIGAN, M.A., D.D. "There is nothing," says Socrates to Cephalus in the Republic, "I like better than conversing with aged men. For I regard them as travellers who have gone a journey which I too may have to go, and of whom it is right to learn the character of the way, whether it is rugged or difficult, or smooth and easy" (p. 328 E.). It is to such an aged traveller that we are introduced in the person of Barzillai the Gileadite. And though he is one of the lesser-known characters …
George Milligan—Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known
In addition to the psalms already considered, which are devoted to the devout contemplation of nature, and stand in close connection with David's early days, there still remains one universally admitted to be his. The twenty-ninth psalm, like both the preceding, has to do with the glory of God as revealed in the heavens, and with earth only as the recipient of skyey influences; but while these breathed the profoundest tranquillity, as they watched the silent splendour of the sun, and the peace of …
Alexander Maclaren—The Life of David
David and Jonathan's Son
'And David said, is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake? 2. And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he. 3. And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet. 4. And the …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Mr. John Bunyan's Dying Sayings.
OF SIN. Sin is the great block and bar to our happiness, the procurer of all miseries to man, both here and hereafter: take away sin and nothing can hurt us: for death, temporal, spiritual, and eternal, is the wages of it. Sin, and man for sin, is the object of the wrath of God. How dreadful, therefore, must his case be who continues in sin! For who can bear or grapple with the wrath of God? No sin against God can be little, because it is against the great God of heaven and earth; but if the sinner …
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3
Letter xxxvi (Circa A. D. 1131) to the Same Hildebert, who had not yet Acknowledged the Lord Innocent as Pope.
To the Same Hildebert, Who Had Not Yet Acknowledged the Lord Innocent as Pope. He exhorts him to recognise Innocent, now an exile in France, owing to the schism of Peter Leonis, as the rightful Pontiff. To the great prelate, most exalted in renown, Hildebert, by the grace of God Archbishop of Tours, Bernard, called Abbot of Clairvaux, sends greeting, and prays that he may walk in the Spirit, and spiritually discern all things. 1. To address you in the words of the prophet, Consolation is hid from …
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux
King of Kings and Lord of Lords
And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, K ING OF K INGS AND L ORD OF L ORDS T he description of the administration and glory of the Redeemer's Kingdom, in defiance of all opposition, concludes the second part of Messiah Oratorio. Three different passages from the book of Revelation are selected to form a grand chorus, of which Handel's title in this verse is the close --a title which has been sometimes vainly usurped by proud worms of this earth. Eastern monarchs, in particular, …
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2
Tiglath-Pileser iii. And the Organisation of the Assyrian Empire from 745 to 722 B. C.
TIGLATH-PILESER III. AND THE ORGANISATION OF THE ASSYRIAN EMPIRE FROM 745 to 722 B.C. FAILURE OF URARTU AND RE-CONQUEST Of SYRIA--EGYPT AGAIN UNITED UNDER ETHIOPIAN AUSPICES--PIONKHI--THE DOWNFALL OF DAMASCUS, OF BABYLON, AND OF ISRAEL. Assyria and its neighbours at the accession of Tiglath-pileser III.: progress of the Aramaeans in the basin of the Middle Tigris--Urartu and its expansion into the north of Syria--Damascus and Israel--Vengeance of Israel on Damascus--Jeroboam II.--Civilisation …
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 7
Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate, …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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