34 But Barzillai answered the king, “How many more years will I live, that I should go up to Jerusalem with the king? 35 I am now eighty years old. Can I tell the difference between what is enjoyable and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats and drinks? Can I still hear the voices of male and female singers? Why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36 Your servant will cross over the Jordan with the king for a short distance, but why should the king reward me in this way? 37 Let your servant return, that I may die in my own town near the tomb of my father and mother. But here is your servant Kimham. Let him cross over with my lord the king. Do for him whatever you wish.” -2 Samuel 19:34-37
Barzillai’s generosity toward King David opened an opportunity for him to live among royalty. Yet as an old man, he knew his days were limited. What did he do? The best thing he could do. He invested in the next generation.
Interpreters sometimes look at this account as a slave trade or a gift. Others don’t know what to do with it. But I see it as a gift. Barzallai knew that sending a loyal servant of his instead would change the younger man’s life. He sought to bless the servant the same way he had blessed the king.
Interesting thought, isn’t it? Barzallai was generous to the rich and the poor. He cared for the needs of others without seeking gain for himself. He might have a funny name, but he lived a serious life. One worth copying. Today, don’t settle for helping those who will help you in return or doing a good deed for others to see. Help others without expecting anything back. Even if nobody else cares, God will notice. And he’s ultimately the only one you need to please.
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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.