Introduction

In our last study of the will of David we managed studied the instruction of David. 

1. The 1st will is to be strong and keep Gods commandment
2. The 2nd will is to judge and execute Joab the commander

Now lets continue by looking at the third instruction from King David.

The Third Will : To Show Kindness To The Sons Of Barzillai

“But show kindness to the sons of
  Barzillai the Gileadite, and let
  them be among those who eat
  at your table, for so they came
  to me when I fled from Absalom
  your brother.” – David (1 Kings 2:7)

David instructed Solomon to show kindness to the sons of Barzillai. He wanted them to eat on the same table with Solomon. This instruction makes us wonder, who is Barzillai and why did David make such a will?

To answer this we need to read more about Barzillai from the bible.

When David fled from Absalom his son, Barzillai came and greeted him with supplies. By the time David was on his death bed, Barzillai had already passed on. Yet his kindness was one that was remembered by David even on his deathbed.

David remembered it so well that he asked Solomon to show kindness to his sons.

Let us ask ourselves, “What did Barzillai do that left such a lasting impression to David?”

In a nutshell, the kindness of Barzillai was because he had given help to David in his time of need.  2 Samuel records the gifts from Barzillai to David

“Now it happened, when David had
  come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the
  son of Nahash from Rabbah of the
  people of Ammon, Machir the son
  of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and
  Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 
   brought beds and basins, earthen
  vessels and wheat, barley and flour,
  parched grain and beans, lentils and
  parched seeds, honey and curds, sheep
  and cheese of the herd, for David and
  the people who were with him to eat.
  For they said, “The people are hungry
  and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”- 2 Sam 17:27-29

Barzillai brought around 16 items to David together with others from around the region. They are mainly necessities and they are not luxuries of great value. Even though they are common necessities, those are the things David needed most at that time.

For David had fled the palace on short notice and he did not have time to prepare any provisions. Even if David were to carry gold with him, it would be difficult to procure supplies.

In order study deeper into the grace of Barzillai to King David. Let us consider 3 aspect of that kindness. It will teach us much about showing kindness

 Pt 1 : Barzillai Provided The Necessities When David Is In Need 

The Chinese had 2 idioms to describe a gift. They are

雪中送炭 (xuě​ zhōng​ sòng ​tàn)which literally means “To Provide Charcoal During Heavy Snow”

锦上添花(jǐn​ shàng​ tiān​ huā) which literally means “To add flowers on a beautiful brocade”

The differences between these two descriptions lies in how significant and useful the gift is. The help that Barzillai gave to David is like delivering coal on a winters day. It is a kindness that David will never forget.

Therefore we ought to learn from Barzillai when it comes to show grace and giving gifts.

The Importance Of Giving What Is Necessary

Jesus once taught about giving

“When you give a dinner or a supper,
  do not ask your friends, your brothers,
  your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest
  they also invite you back, and you be
  repaid. But when you give a feast,
  invite the poor, the maimed, the lame,
  the blind. And you will be blessed,
  because they cannot repay you; for
  you shall be repaid at the resurrection
  of the just.”- Jesus (Lk 14:12-14)

Jesus is not saying that we should not treat our friends and relatives, for having a meal with friends and relatives help foster a closer relationship. Jesus is not talking about buying a meal.

It is about being able to give to someone who could return the favour or giving to one who could never return them. If we treat a person who could treat us back, we would have received our reward and there will be no need for God to reward us.

But if one were to give to the poor who are hungry and these people could not repay us, then God will see this and he will reward us. Paul said the same in his letter to Timothy.

“Command those who are rich in this
  present age not to be haughty, nor to
  trust in uncertain riches but in the
  living God, who gives us richly all
  things to enjoy.  Let them do good,
  that they be rich in good works,
  ready to give, willing to share, 
  storing up for themselves a good 
  foundation for the time to come, that
  they may lay hold on eternal life.”- Paul (1 Tim 6:17-19)

Christians are allowed to enjoy the good things in the world, for they are created by God and there should not be any shame in having enjoyment. We need to thank God for all things are created by him. But as we enjoy the good things God had given us, if we come across a man in need, will we choose to bless them so that they will be filled as well?

If we understand that it is the grace of God that we are given the power to help others, will we choose to spend it all on our enjoyment or to help the others in need?

that is why Paul told Timothy to exhort the rich not to be proud, they must be willing to share and ready to give. God is watching to see how we would treat the others around us. There are many who would choose to add flowers to brocades, and give when there is no need. But if one presents the rich will flowers, will he treasure them?

On the other hand, if one were to choose to help those in need, even if it is just a cup of cold water or a charcoal in a snowstorm. God will remember the deed and reward us, for we know the needs and the help other really need.

Such is the grace Barzillai had given to David , it remain an event that is unforgettable in the life of David.

We will continue studying the next point very soon.

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