O Lord, You are my confidence. You are abundantly adequate for my every need.
Read 2 Samuel 19:31-43
 Barzillai the Gileadite also came down from Rogelim to cross the Jordan with the king and to send him on his way from there.  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.  The king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me and stay with me in Jerusalem, and I will provide for you.”  But Barzillai answered the king, “How many more years will I live, that I should go up to Jerusalem with the king?  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?  Your servant will cross over the Jordan with the king for a short distance, but why should the king reward me in this way?  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.”  The king said, “Kimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for him whatever you wish. And anything you desire from me I will do for you.”  So all the people crossed the Jordan, and then the king crossed over. The king kissed Barzillai and bid him farewell, and Barzillai returned to his home.  When the king crossed over to Gilgal, Kimham crossed with him. All the troops of Judah and half the troops of Israel had taken the king over.  Soon all the men of Israel were coming to the king and saying to him, “Why did our brothers, the men of Judah, steal the king away and bring him and his household across the Jordan, together with all his men?”  All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “We did this because the king is closely related to us. Why are you angry about it? Have we eaten any of the king’s provisions? Have we taken anything for ourselves?”  Then the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, “We have ten shares in the king; so we have a greater claim on David than you have. Why then do you treat us with contempt? Weren’t we the first to speak of bringing back our king?” But the men of Judah pressed their claims even more forcefully than the men of Israel. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does loyalty look like for you?
As David returns to Jerusalem, the old political tensions are all too visible, especially the rivalry between Judah and Israel (41-43). The people of Judah think they have first claim upon David, because he is their kinsman. They feel they should accompany him to Jerusalem. The people of Israel resent this because they took the initiative to invite David back as king.Anyone in leadership will be familiar with these kinds of conflicting claims. David has to be judicious if he is to hold the whole nation together. He needs to keep both tribal groups on his side, but he must not show favoritism to either. Amidst all this, we meet Barzillai. He is just the kind of person you need in situations like this. He combines loyalty with independence. Throughout David’s public life Barzillai has supported him consistently, even when he was in exile (32; see 17:27-29). Now he shows his support publicly by escorting David to the royal city. However, he will not be in David’s pocket, and he declines to join him in Jerusalem (34-37). Tactfully, he offers his servant Kimham instead. David can count on Barzillai, though he will not yield his independence.
Be faithful in your friendships in good times and bad. Do not act to get something for yourself in the end.
Faithful Lord, teach me to value friends like Barzillai. Help me reflect Your consistency in my relationships.
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