Hushai, the Archite; or a Fateful Meeting
2 Samuel 15:32-37
And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold…

Hushai strongly wished to accompany David, to whom he was deeply attached. He was troubled greatly at the calamity which had overtaken the king, and the latter was equally troubled to think of the pain and inconvenience Hushai must suffer for his sake in following his changed fortunes. David knew also that Hushai could do better service for him by remaining in the city and counteracting by judicious counsel some of the evil intentions of Absalom. He has great difficulty in persuading Hushai to remain, and has to appear almost rude and even ungrateful in the effort to accomplish his desire. He could bear anything for himself, but he could not permit another to undergo such exhausting experiences for his sake. Hence he puts as his final argument this strong sentence, "If thou passest over with me thou wilt be a burden." David suggested that Hushai should assume the character of a friend of Absalom.

I. THE MEETING. There is in the account of this meeting an illustration of how SOMETIMES WE MAY FIND UNEXPECTEDLY USEFUL GUIDANCE. Hushai might have been a useful guide, but Absalom Is bent on evil, and Ahithophel helps him in his wickedness. Hushai only seeks to defeat the evil counsel of the latter. This he attempts for David's sake, as well as Absalom's. Absalom could, if he had been true, have had a most valuable counsellor in Hushai, but, under the circumstances, all Hushai can do is to endeavour to help David, or to give him time to escape, by counselling delay on the part of Absalom. Life is like a many-tracked common or heath; so many paths run side by side or cross each other at different angles. We pass numberless wanderers like ourselves, but here and there we meet casually with some one who is most useful, because he chances to know the direction of the paths, and a word at a perplexing juncture is invaluable. For such guidance we are thankful. Absalom had in Hushai one who would have done his best to counsel him for good, but his heart was set on evil, so that Hushai's influence was unavailing.

II. A WARNING also came to the rebellious son in that, meeting. If David yesterday was followed, loved, and trusted, and is to-day forsaken and hunted, so might he be served when the flush of success has faded. Absalom needed the warning just then, for he was contemplating most dastardly crimes. Just as Hushai meets him unexpectedly, so retribution may meet him also, at the point where he seems to have reached the full extent of his expectation of success. There is indeed that which a French writer calls force cachee, or hidden power, checking us often at the very moment of success wrongly gained. It is not always noticed, but sometimes it comes, startling us with its suddenness. Ahab goes down to seize the vineyard of Naboth, and at the door Elijah meets him with the sentence, "In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine" The courtiers who wrought against Daniel were themselves doomed to the death they designed for him. If in secular history we discover the operation of this force cachee, how much more in sacred. There the working of the law is laid down thus: "The wicked shall fall by his own naughtiness;" the ungodly falls into the net he spreads for his neighbour's feet. Absalom in meeting wish Hushai comes in contact with one who will lead him into the pit be had dug for his father and king. There was a Divine hand in this, and in the after consultation, when the advice of Ahithophel failed, and that of Hushai was taken. God worked through words.

(F. Hastings.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head:

WEB: It happened that when David had come to the top [of the ascent], where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn, and earth on his head.

The Counsel of Ahithophel
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