Thursday, March 13, 2008



It is a strange name. I had never heard it until this week. I have been
re-reading the Psalms again and today's study is on Psalms 42-43. King
David is writing during a depressed time in his life. He says, "God
why have you forgotten me? Why is my soul so disturbed within me?"

He longs for God's house ("My soul thirsts for God.") and
remembers the times he led the procession to the Temple, but he is in
agony. His son Absalom and many of David's close friends have rebelled
against him. He is running for his life. He is made fun of and is
suffering. He is criticized and hurt by people's words.

It is during this time that an 80 year old man named Barzillai finds
David tired and thirsty and hungry in the desert and brings to him,
"Bedding and bowls and articles of pottery. They also brought wheat
and barley, flour and roasted grain, beans and lentils, honey and curds,
sheep, and cheese from cows' milk for David and his people to eat."
(2 Samuel 17:27) When asked why he did it Barzillai said, "The people
have become hungry and tired and thirsty in the desert."

Last week I had one of those strange bugs going around here. I felt
awful. Tired, dizzy, tummy not well, you know what I mean! During that
time I began to think, "I bet I know how our patients feel now. It is
a tough time for them." When I am sick I feel like doing nothing but
pulling the cover over my head and trying to sleep. And during sickness
we think we will never recover. So I found myself empathizing with many
of our patients.

Anyway, it is something to think about, that is -  how our patients
feel. There are people who are hungry spiritually and physically, many
are tired, and they are thirsty like being in the desert and some have
given up on life itself.  What can we do for them?  A word of
encouragement?  A smile?  Perphaps a prayer? It is a good question for
each of us.

Barzillai saw David's need and provided encouragement and food during
a crisis time. It is also interesting to note that when David was about
to die, he called his son Solomon in for last words. And some of his
last words were, "Solomon, show kindness to the sons of Barzillai of
Gilead and let them be among those who eat at your table. They stood by
me when I fled from your brother Absalom." Wow! What beautiful
rememberances. They stood by me !!!

So, the message for me, and for us, is that there are people to stand by
during their time of need, and my feeling is, that like David, they will

Be a Barzillai today!

Bro. Dan


At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brother Dan Thanks for reminding us that God wishes us to be there like the 'bridge over troubled waters.' Sometimes, our own problems make us forget empathy towards others. Don Brennan

At 5:29 PM, Blogger John said...

Barzillai (2 Sam. 19:31-43).

“He had met David's company with help in their hour of need (2 Sam 17:27-29); and no doubt this act of kindness had cost him friends, but he was wonderfully rewarded when the king came back! Barzillai did not want to leave his home and die away from his loved ones, so he suggested that Chimham (perhaps a son or grand-son) be given the blessing. Jeremiah 41:17 informs us that David gave Chimham land near Bethlehem and that his family lived there for many years.”

(from Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament © 1993 by Victor Books/SP Publications. All rights reserved.)


CHIMHAM (2 Samuel 19:37) or
(2 Samuel 19:40)
“(Jeremiah 41:17 K)]; NEB KIMHAM. One of the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, who supported David while the latter was in exile in Mahanaim (2 Samuel 19:37). After the death of Absalom, Barzillai was invited to spend the remainder of his life with the king; but he refused, and sent his son Chimham in his stead. From the reference in Jeremiah 41:17 it has been inferred that Chimham received a grant of land from David's patrimony at Bethlehem, which retained his name for at least four centuries.”

(from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, revised edition, Copyright © 1979 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. All rights reserved.)


[KIM ham] (of a pallid face) - a friend and political supporter of David. After Absalom's defeat, he returned from beyond the Jordan River with David to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 19:37-40). The "habitation [or lodging place] of Chimham" (Jeremiah 41:17) may have been an inn given to Chimham by David as a reward for his loyalty.”
(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers).


Of course, it is interesting to speculate that years latter on that land in Bethlehem given by David to Barzillai’s descendants, two of David’s descendants also received assistance.

At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JUST A TOUCH........Sometimes a simple touch is so eloquent. To another, it says 'Someone cares.' It also says 'I with you in all my thoughts and prayers.' It says 'I know and share in your distress.' Imagine what the touch of Jesus meant to the blind the woman at the the dead son of the widow. Lord, come and touch my heart. db


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