2 Samuel 16

* Ziba's falsehood. (1-4) David cursed by Shimei. (5-14)

Ahithophel's counsel. (15-23)

1-4 Ziba belied Mephibosheth. Great men ought always to be

jealous of flatterers, and to be careful that they hear both

5-14 David bore Shimei's curses much better than Ziba's

flatteries; by these he was brought to pass a wrong judgment on

another, by those to pass a right judgment on himself: the

world's smiles are more dangerous than its frowns. Once and

again David spared Saul's life, while Saul sought his. But

innocence is no defence against malice and falsehood; nor are we

to think it strange, if we are charged with that which we have

been most careful to keep ourselves from. It is well for us,

that men are not to be our judges, but He whose judgment is

according to truth. See how patient David was under this abuse.

Let this remind us of Christ, who prayed for those who reviled

and crucified him. A humble spirit will turn reproaches into

reproofs, and get good from them, instead of being provoked by

them. David the hand of God in it, and comforts himself that God

would bring good out of his affliction. We may depend upon God

to repay, not only our services, but our sufferings.
15-23 The wisest counsellors of that age were Ahithophel and

Hushai: Absalom thinks himself sure of success, when he has

both; on them he relies, and consults not the ark, though he had

that with him. But miserable counsellors were they both. Hushai

would never counsel him to do wisely. Ahithophel counselled him

to do wickedly; and so did as effectually betray him, as he did,

who was designedly false to him: for they that advise men to

sin, certainly advise them to their hurt. After all, honesty is

the best policy, and will be found so in the long run.

Ahithophel gave wicked counsel to Absalom; to render himself so

hateful to his father, that he would never be reconciled to him;

this cursed policy was of the devil. How desperately wicked is

the human heart!

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