Synopsis 2Sam 19:35-42 1/23/2019
King David journeyed from Manahaim to the Jordan River. As he did, he and his family and his army were escorted by Barzillai. Now, Barzillai was a wealthy man. And he had provided for David and his people while they stayed in Manahaim throughout the time of the rebellion.
The nation recalled David to once again be their king. And so, as David and his people made their way back to Jerusalem, David offered Barzillai a place in Jerusalem. But Barzillai declined the generous offer. He was already eighty years old. So, he wished to remain near his hometown for the remainder of his life.
But refusing a king’s generosity came with its own perils. So, Barzillai offered Chimham as a beneficiary of David’s generosity in his place. Most likely, Chimham was Barzillai’s son. And so, David accepted Chimham as Barzillai’s proxy.
David and Barzillai
Of all the people who came out to escort David to his restored throne, Barzillai had nothing to gain. For he alone had paid out to preserve David in the moments of his distress. And he did this seemingly without any anticipation of return.
The rarity of Barzillai’s generosity and friendship made a deep impression on David.
The extraordinarily rich often express a certain burden. It’s hard to know who is truly a friend.
But the Way of Friendship is a practice that depends on seeing the other in the fullness of the possibility of their life. And working in harmony for that end.
“There are friends who bring ruin, but there are true friends more loyal than a brother.” Prov 18:24