Be a friend

Chapters 23 to 27 of 1 Chronicles do not make the most interesting of reading for most of us. We find long lists people who were organized to do work that was needed in the temple, which Solomon would build. It would seem that David was a good organizer.

In 1 Chronicles 23 we have the Levites organized to do various work, both in the temple and to serve as judges. 1 Chronicles 24 details the organization of the priests as well as the remaining Levites. In 1 Chronicles 25 the musicians are organized – of note is the mention of “Heman,” “Asaph,” and “Jeduthun,” all of whom were in some way involved with the Psalms, either writing them (Heman and Asaph) or possibly composing music for them (Jeduthun – several Psalms are identified as “according to Jeduthun”). Although not mentioned here, the sons of Korah were also involved in writing many of the Psalms and served in the tabernacle.

1 Chronicles 26 gives the organization of the gatekeepers for the temple and also lists treasurers and other officials. Finally in 1 Chronicles 27 we have the military divisions as well as a list of the leaders of the people. 1 Chronicles 27 ends with a list of those who directly served David, his “cabinet”.

“David’s uncle Jonathan was a counselor; he was a man of understanding and a scribe. Jehiel son of Hachmoni attended the king’s sons. Ahithophel was the king’s counselor. Hushai the Archite was the king’s friend. After Ahithophel came Jehoiada son of Benaiah, then Abiathar. Joab was the commander of the king’s army” (1 Chronicles 27:32-34 CSB).

Of all of the men, the one who caught my attention was “Hushai the Archite.” Notice his job title: he “was the king’s friend.” If ever someone would be needed by the person ruling a kingdom, it would have to be a friend. Other translations refer to Hushai as “the king’s confidant” (NET, NIV) but the Hebrew word simply means “friend.” His serving David as a friend would have of necessity involved being his confidant, a person to whom he could express his innermost thoughts.

We learn more about Hushai during Absalom’s rebellion. He was there ready to leave with David as he was fleeing Jerusalem (2 Samuel 15:32-37). Even at this stage, he is referred to as “David’s friend” and personal advisor. David requested that he remain in Jerusalem and attach himself to the court of Absalom as an advisor but in reality to serve as a spy and relay to David what was being said. Hushai was able to thwart some of the advice given to Absalom which led to Absalom’s defeat and David regaining the throne of Israel.

Don’t we all need someone like Hushai? Someone who is there for us, even when life is going well. Someone who “has our back” when enemies are plotting against us. Yes, Hushai was one of David’s advisors, but isn’t it wonderful that he is simply called “the king’s friend.”

Maybe more importantly, don’t we need to be a Hushai to those around us? We need to be a friend who gives good advice and looks out for the best interests of those who trust us.

Being and having a consistent friend isn’t always easy. But this is what the love that Jesus desires us to have, agape, is all about. Seeking and actively pursuing what is best for the other person. And as Christians, this isn’t limited to our friends but must be extended to everyone, even our enemies.

“One with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). May we learn to be this type of friend!

Readings for next week:
5 November – 1 Chronicles 23; Psalm 53
6 November – 1 Chronicles 24; Psalm 58
7 November – 1 Chronicles 25; Psalm 61
8 November – 1 Chronicles 26; Psalm 62
9 November – 1 Chronicles 27; Psalm 63

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Jon Galloway

After graduating from Freed-Hardeman College and teaching school for three years, as well as preaching for small congregations in West Tennessee, Jon & Arlene moved back to her home of Glasgow, Scotland. Since 1985 Jon has been involved in evangelistic work in the Glasgow area, currently serving the congregation in East Kilbride. They have three grown children. Besides writing 'Bible Bytes', Jon is also one of the editors of the "Christian Worker," a news magazine for congregations in the UK, and is a teacher and governor for the British Bible School.

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