Saturday, May 21, 2016

Character: A Lesson From Barzillai

Memory Verse: "Barzillai was very old, being eighty years old; and he had sustained the king while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very great man." (2 Sam.19:32,NASB)

Scripture Reading: 2 Sam.19:32-43.

After the rebellion of Absalom was subdued and overcome, there was renewed support for David throughout Israel. This was a cause of rejoicing for those who had remained loyal during the civil war. But some sought to take advantage of his return to power, including people who had changed sides and supported Absalom.

But one man, Barzillai, was different. His name (which means "made of iron") symbolized his character. He could be counted on and trusted, just like iron. David knew that he had been loyal even during difficult times.

Barzillai had proven himself and provided for David's needs in his darkest hours, helping to support the embattled king out of his personal resources. The Bible says that Barzillai "was a very great man." As far as David was concerned, he had proven himself.

When David offered to reward him, Barzillai declined. In fact, he asked for nothing for himself. Instead he asked David if he would bless his servant, Chimham. He wanted David to treat Chimham as though the king were rewarding Barzillai himself.

David was moved by this action, and Barzillai's attitude. Even years later, as David was on his death bed, he told Solomon to "show kindness to the sons of Barzillai...let them be among those who eat at your table. They stood by me when I fled from your brother Absalom" (1 Kgs. 2:7).

Such favour for the sons of Barzillai! I want this for my children, I bet you do too! Start sowing seeds of a godly character.

Barzillai provides a wonderful example for us to emulate his character. A person who is valued by friends. By kings. By God. In your own life, seek to follow his example. Seeking to be like iron. To be dependable and loyal. Faithful and consistent. Totally committed to live according to God's principles. Careful to keep your promises. A person on whom others can count.

Ponder Point: Godly exercise is the key to godly character.

Action Point: Develop quality character.

Prayer Point: Father, help me mold my character, to be totally dependable and trustworthy. Help me to speak the truth, and keep my word in  Jesus name. Amen.

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