It’s not the amount of money you have that defines you, it’s what you do with what you have. Whether it’s a little or a lot, what are we doing with it?
For the poor man it feels right to hold tightly because life is tight. For the rich man he is tempted to hold tightly as that as he continues to grow his wealth and influence as well as pay for all his bills.
When David was fleeing the coup from his son Absolom with those who were with him when he, a man met him in his dire need. Barzillai, an older man who had been successful in life brought to David and his people “beds, basins, and pottery items. They also brought wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, honey, curds, sheep, and cheese from the herd” (2 Sam 17:27-29). It was a rich man’s feast for a people who were very hungry.
David never forgot him.
When David was being restored to the rulership, Barzillai came to greet him. By this time he was very old, a whopping 80 years old (2 Sam 19:32). Out of deep gratitude, David promised to care for him all the days of his life in his palace.
But Barzillai respectfully declined, stating that he was too old to enjoy the pleasures of this life. So Barzillai sent another in his place and David vowed to treat him as he would have treated Barzillai.
Barzillai is a hero. When he saw a great need, he honored the Lord by giving up much of his wealth to care for the needs of others. He wasn’t doing it so anyone would pat him on the back. In fact, by doing so he could have been killed by Absalom. Nor was he being generous to receive good things from David. He actually declined those. He did this as an act of service to those in need, and supporting David while he was on the run.
It’s been interesting for me as I’ve traveled this road in life. There are many Barzillai’s still out there. Some are young, some are old, some are wealthy, some have nothing. And yet as I’ve gone throughout the world, they’ve been there to refresh the saints.
These ones are heroes. Nameless. Selfless. Generous. Humble.
I’m sure that in heaven there is a place of great honor for them.
May I be like one of them.