Daily Bible Reading “Barzillai Had a Servant’s Heart” (2 Samuel 19:31-43)

2 Samuel 19 Barzillai Standt3Barzillai Had a Servant’s Heart

Today’s Daily Bible Reading is from 2 Samuel 19:31-43. Barzillai, who was a Gileadite, came from Rogelim and crossed the Jordan with the king and sent him on his way from there.

Barzillai was getting up in age. He was eighty years old at this time. He provided for the king during his stay in Mahanaim, which is mentioned in 2 Samuel 17:27-29. He was a wealthy man who had brought supplies for David and his men. He and his friends saved the lives of the king and his men.

The king asked Barzillai to cross over with him and stay with him in Jerusalem. The king promised to provide for Barzillai.

Barzillai answered the king, “How many more years will I live, that I should go up to Jerusalem with the king? He reminded the king that he was eighty years old. He said he had trouble telling the difference between what was enjoyable and what wasn’t. He told the king that he couldn’t taste what he ate and drank. He also said that he couldn’t even hear the voices of male and female singers. He didn’t want to be an added burden to the king.

He told the king that he would cross over the Jordan with him for a short distance, but didn’t want the king to reward him in that way. He asked the king to let him return, so he could die in his own town and be buried near the tomb of his father and mother. He suggested that the king let Chimham cross over with him instead. He asked the king to do for Chimham whatever he wished.

The king agreed to let Chimham cross over with him, and said he would do for him whatever Barzillai wanted. He also told Barzillai that he would do anything for him that he desired.

All the people crossed the Jordan, and then the king crossed over. The king kissed Barzillai and told him goodbye. Barzillai returned to his home as he desired.

When the king crossed over to Gilgal, Chimham went with him. All the troops of Judah and half the troops of Israel escorted the king over.

Soon the men of Israel came to the king and asked him, why the men of Judah stole the king away and brought him, his household, and all his men across the Jordan.

The men of Judah told the men of Israel that they did this because the king was closely related to them. They questioned them as to why they were angry about it. They asked, “Have we eaten any of the king’s food? Have we taken anything for ourselves?”

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? We were the first to speak of bringing back our king.” The men of Judah pressed their claims even more forcefully than the men of Israel. These men were acting like King David was their possession to barter for or something.

Barzillai, on the other hand, had a servant’s heart. He had done things to help David, but he didn’t want anything in return. He didn’t want to be a burden to David. He only wanted to be a blessing to him.


Daily Bible Reading:

2 Samuel 19:31-43

31 And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and went over Jordan with the king, to conduct him over Jordan.
32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even fourscore years old: and he had provided the king of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man.
33 And the king said unto Barzillai, Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem.
34 And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem?
35 I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king?
36 Thy servant will go a little way over Jordan with the king: and why should the king recompense it me with such a reward?
37 Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried by the grave of my father and of my mother. But behold thy servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king; and do to him what shall seem good unto thee.
38 And the king answered, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good unto thee: and whatsoever thou shalt require of me, that will I do for thee.
39 And all the people went over Jordan. And when the king was come over, the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he returned unto his own place.
40 Then the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him: and all the people of Judah conducted the king, and also half the people of Israel.
41 And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said unto the king, Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away, and have brought the king, and his household, and all David’s men with him, over Jordan?
42 And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, Because the king is near of kin to us: wherefore then be ye angry for this matter? have we eaten at all of the king’s cost? or hath he given us any gift?
43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more right in David than ye: why then did ye despise us, that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king? And the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.


Things to think about:

  • What did we learn in this Scripture about Barzillai?
  • Why didn’t he want to stay with the king?
  • Who did he recommend in his place?


Prayer of the Day:

As we read this Scripture in 2 Samuel we see that there were supporters of King David. There were people like Barzillai who had taken care of the king, but didn’t want anything in return. Help us to find people to partner with to do Your work who a not selfish and self-serving, but truly want to help further Your kingdom. Help us to have a servant’s heart. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Christian Music Video: “Servant’s Heart”

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