There was an Old Man
2 Samuel 19:31-40
Verse 32 Now Barzillai was very old, eighty years of age. He had provided for the king during his stay in Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man.
Before David could make it back to the city another man came to see him. Barzillai was one of three men who had provided for David and his entourage when they were running from Absalom. He had given of his vast wealth to make sure the king, his family and men had what they needed to be strong during a hard time.
This kind and generous man was not a young wealthy man, he was actually eighty years of age. Though quite old for that time period, he was not sitting waiting to die. He had left his home to come and give the king greetings as he headed home and the king didn’t miss the significance of the gesture. David must have had a special affection for this elderly man because the king offered a special gesture of his own.
First the king tells him to come and live with him in Jerusalem. That was an honor which wasn’t given to many people. The king also tells Barzillai he will provide for him. It wasn’t that this man couldn’t provide for himself, remember he was wealthy enough to shower the king and his entourage with provisions. This man didn’t need the kindness of the king like Mephibosheth did, but the king wanted to offer it anyway.
The elderly man was touched by the gesture but thought his age was the very reason he should refuse it. His list of reasons his age was a problem are similar to those a modern day senior would give when saying they should be excluded from various activities. He wanted to make sure his point was made so he listed more than one reason he should be excused from the invitation. How would he know what was considered good entertainment? Would he even be able to enjoy the food and drinks? And how could he be expected to hear the singers? No, he was too old to join the king.
Along with the excuses Barzillai offered the king a special gift, to take his servant, Kimham, and told the king to shower him with blessings. Barzillai must have really cared for his servant. Instead of taking the royal gesture himself, he gave it away to a person he wanted to reward. Barzillai was revealing what the king already knew, the wise elderly man had a kind, generous heart.
Making It Personal
Have you ever been the recipient of someone’s generosity? How did you respond? Have you ever been on the giving end of generosity?
Making It Personal Kids
Has anyone ever done something extra nice for you which you weren’t expecting? How did it make you feel? Have you ever done something extra special for someone who wasn’t expecting it?
Father, thank You for the reminder to be generous in our living. You have lavished us so generously with Your love and grace, help us live like You. In Jesus’ name, amen.