END WELL – PASS THE BATON
Thank You, Lord, for using me in Your kingdom work.
Read 2 Samuel 19:31–43
31 Barzillai the Gileadite also came down from Rogelim to cross the Jordan with the king and to send him on his way from there. 32 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. 33 The king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me and stay with me in Jerusalem, and I will provide for you.”
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.”
38 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.”
39 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.
40 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.
41 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?”
42 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?”
43 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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink of a previous job, role or church you have moved on from. Did that finish well?
Barzillai is a faithful servant to the king. He could continue in his role by going back over the Jordan River with David, but he wants to finish well. He knew that it was possible to go on serving the king despite his age and health, but wisdom told him it was time to return to his home (31–37).
But he did not intend to leave David in the lurch—he had a succession plan. So often people stay in a role for too long. They know the work inside out, yet they don’t train others to succeed them. Barzillai was wise and he knew a man who would serve the king well. He offered the services of Kimham (37,38).
Barzillai also ended well with the people (39). The easy way to leave a church or a job is out “the back door”; the better way is with the blessing of others via the front door. We see the servant heart of Barzillai in Jesus. He came to serve, not to be served, and passed on the baton of building the kingdom of God to his disciples.
Are you training up and discipling someone to take your role after you? We always want to be in the business of training up successors. Whom can you pour into today?
Father, help me to finish well and to pass the baton on to others. May I not hold on to things too tightly but trust You instead.