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2 SAMUEL 17:27-29

BARZILLAI

"LOVING YOUR LEADER!"

 

 

KING DAVID WAS DISCOURAGED!

WOULD ANYONE HELP HIM?

DOES ANYONE CARE?

YES ... AND WE SHALL STUDY THE METHODS AND MOTIVES OF THIS SELECT GROUP OF "HELPERS" IN THE LESSONS UPCOMING, LORD WILLING.

--- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

"And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse,  and honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness."  2nd Samuel 17:27-29

 

 

A TOTAL OF NINE LESSONS APPEAR IN THE AREA BELOW.  JUST "SCROLL" DOWNWARD AND READ THEM ALL!

 

LESSON 1 ... FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2004:

The King was perhaps at his lowest point ever!

David was literally fleeing for his life!

The man of God had been embarrassed, driven from his home and was under deadly attack from the enemy.

Cursed by many, the sweet Psalmist of Israel needed a friend, someone who would just share with him some slight token of encouragement!

Maybe David had asked the Lord:  "Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed."  That's what he had written in Psalm 86:17!

Well, such a "token" came!

Let's read 2 Samuel 17:27-29 to see what I mean:

"And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse,  and honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness."

Three men appeared on the scene.

Their goal was solely to help their King!

They had "gifts" for their leader!

And "encouragement" was their motive!

The Lord willing, we shall go into more detail tomorrow, but isn't this a lovely scene?

I am speaking to some folks today ... and YOUR leader just may be discouraged!

Your Pastor or Sunday School Teacher or that Man of God whom you love in the Lord!  (Or ladies, that Sister who first pointed you to Christ Jesus as your Saviour!)

Maybe you could get another person or two together (and if not do it alone) ... and share something encouraging with that weary saint of God!

But, preacher Bagwell, HOW do you encourage a Preacher or a spiritual worker or someone who has so helped you through the years?

This text will tell us!

And WHEN do you encourage them?

Again, it's in the Book!

But each of us can start in this way.  Pick up the phone ... or go by the store and buy a sweet card ... or just go see him or her (the discouraged saint) ... and tell them you appreciate them.  Tell him how much he means to you.  Tell him that you're praying in his behalf!  Tell him you want to help!  Maybe even take him a little gift of some kind!  (A loved one can tell you something he really enjoys!)

Your words or actions will be "good news" to that dear Man of God!

The Bible says in Proverbs 25:25 --- "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country."

Is any of this truly Biblical?

Yes!

Scripture commands us to "exhort one another daily!"  (Hebrews 3:13)  That verb "exhort" certainly means "encourage!"  (It's the very word used for the Holy Spirit as The "Comforter!")

This Lesson brings with it some "homework!"

I pray a discouraged Man of God somewhere will hear some kind words of love and support today!  He may NEED them more than you know!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2:

According to the first verse of our text, David is in "Mahanaim."  This place is where Jacob was met by a band of angels prior to his encounter with Esau (upon returning from his sojourn in Haran).

The name means "two camps."

"And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim."  2 Samuel 17:27

David was literally positioned in a place that meant "two camps!"

Think of that!

Many people today are exactly there too!  They're in a place between two camps (or opinions or choices) ... needing a nudge of encouragement to go the right way or do the right thing!  I mean like the folks of Elijah's day when he asked them: "How long halt ye between two opinions?"  1 Kings 18:21

David was so "low" ... so downcast ... he hardly knew what to do!  Truly then he could have said:  "I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul."  Psalm 142:4

That's when three men appeared on the scene!

Encouragers, exhorters, "lifter-uppers" were they!

Lord, may their number increase!

Let's "meet" them today.

The name Shobi is unique.  It is only used once in all the Bible ... right here!  It means "glorious" one!  Wow!  I suspect he did look "glorious" to King David in his great hour of need!  (This Shobi is the son of a man named "Nahash," which means serpent!  God can pluck his servants from some strange places, can't He? And he's a descendant of the Ammonites, produced by the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters!  What a BAD background ... for such a precious saint!  This reminds me of Jeremiah 15:19 which speaks of:  "Taking forth the precious from the vile!"  It is amazing where God has brought us FROM, isn't it?)

The second man here who helps David is Machir whose name means "sold!"  What spiritual lessons this suggests!  Once we were sold unto sin!  But Jesus came and bought us (redeemed us) out of the slave market of iniquity and set us free in Christ!  But we are to use our freedom ... to help love and encourage others also! Notice that Machir's Daddy is a man named Ammiel, whose name means "My Kinsman is God!"  As bad as Shobi's background was ... Machir's was comparably GOOD!  They once lived in "Lodebar," land of no pasture!  (Once one has been in a place of no pasture ... he's glad to help feed others in need!)

And the third helper is Barzillai!  This name is associated with the noun "iron."  As in "iron-hearted!"  Oh, how we need folks who stand STRONG for the Man of God ... who fear not what the enemy can do to them!  (Yes, these three men were risking their very lives helping David at this time.  A revolt is underway in Jerusalem!  Absalom has killed before and he will not hesitate to do so again!)  See that Barzillai is from Gilead, which is a "rocky region!"  A "hard" background here helped produce a "strong" iron fisted Believer!  God does not "waste" childhoods! And this third man is from "Rogelim," the place of the "fullers!"  This term is used for the "cleaners" of the Old Testament time.  Full-time washers of clothes!  Baraillai is a clean man!  (The cleaner, more godly a man is ... the kinder he is toward fellow believers!  One key Old Testament word for "saints" means kind ones!)

Three men to the rescue!

They have come to encourage the Man of God, King David!

One of them is their leader, but we don't know who!

They form a "team!"

Why don't a bunch of you at your church get together this week and do something encouraging for your preacher?

I just believe God will bless your effort!

Wait until tomorrow!  I want you to see WHAT they do!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

Let's look a little more closely today at one of these "helpers" of the King!

This man named "Shobi" was an Ammonite!  These people were the enemies of God!  They likely spoke a very "broken" Hebrew, being people of another tongue. Shobi is a rank foreigner ... yet he is helping King David!

The Father of Shobi is a man named "Nahash."  Let me tell you how mean he was. "Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee. And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel."  (1 Samuel 11:1-2)  Did you read these verses?

God took a son of this cruel man and transformed him into a real friend of the fleeing David!

That's grace!

God took the wife of one of Jesus' enemies (Pilate's wife) and turned her into an advocate for the cause of Christ!  Matthew 27:19 records that ... "When he (Pilate) was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him."  Wow!

And even in the wicked house of Ahab King of Israel God raised up a man, one Obadiah, to feed and care for his prophets of old!  "And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water." 1st Kings 18:3-4

We have an illustration here of the truth of Proverbs 16:7 --- "When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."

We are told in Daniel 1:9 --- "Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs."  Otherwise Daniel could have perhaps been slain for refusing to eat of the King's meat!

Preachers, thank God for the "friends" He has raised up to stand with you and defend you in times of trial and pressure!  (Raised up often from some unusual places!)

And dear Believing Brother, YOU just may the that "friend" you Preacher needs right now!  No matter your "background" ... help the Man of God in his time of need.

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4 ... TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2004, FROM DILLSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA, IN A MOTEL ROOM OVERLOOKING THE TUCKASEGEE RIVER:

A man who believed in loving and encouraging his leader was "Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar."  That name looks familiar! 

Why, it's the same man who had harbored the lame grandson of King Saul, Mephibosheth!  See 2 Samuel 9:3-6.

Machir lived in "Lodebar," a city whose name means "no pasture!"  He inhabited the place of no pasture, no provision --- yet he gave graciously to the fleeing King David! 

Perhaps he had little but he gave what he could!  (In Mark 14:8 Jesus said of the woman who anointed Him for burial ... "She hath done what she could!")  So did Machir ... and his deeds are recorded in the Word of God!  The Macedonians of 2nd Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 did this too!  See 2 Corinthians 8:2.

Also if you will notice the list of the gifts these three men presented King David ... some of them would not have required farmland to produce! 

The butter, sheep and cheese from cattle would have demanded one's pastures to be fertile and green.  And the wheat, barley and beans would have required fields on which to grow.  (Apparently Machir could not have given these!)  BUT notice the beds and basins and earthen vessels!  One's land does not have to be rich for him to provide a bed to the King!

Here is creativity in giving for sure!

And then look at this fact.  Machir seems to have dedicated much of his life to caring for the King!  He protected and fed little Mephibosheth (son of the now dead Jonathan and grandson to Saul, Israel's first King) ... when no one else seemed to care!  And now he's helping King David!

This man is "addicted" to providing encouragement to Royalty!  This reminds me of something Paul said in 1 Corinthians 16:15.   "I beseech you, brethren, ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints."  Wow!

They were "addicted" to serving God's people!

I pray God will give us more folks who will be habitually given to encouraging the Preachers of our land too!  "Addicted" to exhorting those in the ministry!

Lastly note this.  Everyone Machir helped seems to be on the "unpopular" side of the political scene!  Saul's house is gone!  No one will reward this care and love for Mephibosheth.  He's a "nobody" now!  And it's the same with King David ... he has abdicated the throne it seems!  Running from Jerusalem!  Maybe its wise to go befriend the upcoming rebel, Absalom!  But ... no ... Machir stays with God's appointees!  He remains loyal!  That is character, dear readers!

Thank God for Machir.

BUT ... he is long dead and gone now.

The Lord just may need someone else to stand in his place and help the leader (preacher) where YOU go to church!

Can He count on you?

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

The third man who helped David in his hour of need was "Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim."

Our text verses here record the first time Barzillai is mentioned in Scripture (but not the last time).

As we saw earlier the name Barzillai means "iron."  His home was in Gilead (meaning "rocky region)!  Everything about him so far suggests toughness and the ability to handle hardship!

His home town was Rogelim, the place of "fullers" ... those who clean clothes!  His background is one of "cleansing" dirty things!

You may think that lacks significance.  But when God gave Isaiah the first message about the coming Virgin Birth of our Saviour ... He had him go to a "fuller's field" to hear it!  You can read about it in Isaiah 7:3 --- "Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field."  (There they learn of Jesus' coming miraculous Birth!)  Maybe something about Jesus deals with "cleansing" too!

While I can't explain it in detail ... Barzillai's loyalty to David was not short lived! After the "Absalom Rebellion" is over, this gracious man AGAIN appears to congratulate David and urge him onward in service of the Lord!  Here's what we are told:  "And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and went over Jordan with the king, to conduct him over Jordan.  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.  And the king said unto Barzillai, Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem.  And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem?  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? Thy servant will go a little way over Jordan with the king: and why should the king recompense it me with such a reward? 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.  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.  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."  What a paragraph from 2 Samuel 19:31-39!

From this we learn that the man who helped the King was wealthy ("a great man" in possessions)! 

Of our helpful "trio" one was poor ("no pasture") and one was wealthy!  But they all loved the king and tried to encourage him best they could at such a dangerous time!

Also the way our paragraph above is worded, Barzillai was likely the "leader" of this helpful threesome.  In every attempt to encourage the Preacher ... someone has to have the initiative!  Someone has to start the idea and promote it until it's achieved to the glory of God!  While three worked on the project, Scripture says "And he (Barzillai) had provided the king of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man.."

We next learn that Barzillai was old in years!  (Eighty!)  Even elderly men can help the Preacher!

(Younger men may have to assist the older men of means in encouraging their leader!)

Barzillai was so old that he could not taste or hears things very well any more! That is ... physically!  But he still had pretty good spiritual senses, didn't he?

Ever thinking of others, Barzillai had 2 suggestions.  HE would not go with the King back to the Palace ... and be a "burden" to him!  (Lesson:  Take the load off your Preacher ... do not add to it!)

And he had a younger "servant" (maybe even a son) named Chimham (meaning "longing" according to my computer program) whom he wanted to send with David! Does this name imply the boy was a precious possession and loved part of Barzillai's life ... but one which he gladly surrendered to Royal service? 

Lessons:  Nothing is too important to withhold in supporting one's godly leader! And train even those sons and daughters to love and appreciate their Preacher too! (Just like spiritual "wolves" or "preacher-haters" rear "pups" who despise the men of God also ... so can godly "preacher-lovers" rear children who love and respect the Pastor!)

I salute Barzillai this morning!

May his kind increase in number and strength!

Every preacher needs one in the church he pastors! 

In fact, God may be "calling" one today!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

Look at what these three men brought the King!

It seems they knew everything he needed!

They brought "beds and basons and earthen vessles."

The Hebrew word for "beds" is one which means a couch like device upon which one may rest.  (Jesus once told His Disciples:  "Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat."  Mark 6:31)  Friend, see to it that your Leader (your Pastor) gets some rest time as he should.  If he's a constant worker (as so many preachers are) ... several of you go together and provide for the Preacher and his wife to be able to go out of town for a night or two ... just to rest!

The noun "basons" here means bowls or cups, utensils for eating.  Again, this word indicates that Barzillai and his crew sought to provide food for the Man of God!  It is the church's responsibility to feed the preacher!  (When a godly couple provided for their Preacher, Elisha, they also thought of such things!  "Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither."  2 Kings 4:10)

And "earthen vessels" represent less expensive (by far) but necessary items for the King's journey.  They are dispensable but needed.  These would be used to store the other food items that were being provided to the King.  How practical these men were!  Even these could present spiritual lessons to the distraught King!  (1 Thessalonians 4:4 --- "That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour.")

Then look at the vegetables and grains they brought!  "And wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse." 

The wheat and barley and corn show variety in their choices!  Even in this emergency they tried to avoid monotony!  This is going the second mile in hospitality!

And look at this.  The foods are brought in different stages of preparation!  Wheat and barley are the raw products of the earth.  But the flour has been ground and milled!  And the parched corn is ready to eat!  This is doing MORE than could have ever been expected.  These three men are becoming "profitable" servants in a hurry!  (Luke 17:10)

And one of the most beautiful things about this is just the fact that none of these "presents" are too expensive for one to share!  But they sure are thoughtful!

And if the Lord rewards just a cup of cold water ... what will He do for this trio of exhorters?  (Matthew 10:42 --- "And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.")

Hear me today.  Love and respect and appreciate the Man of God who feeds you the Word each week!

And ... especially when he's under attack ... stand with him every way possible!

You will be rewarded for your efforts!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2004:

I am amazed at the creativity of many of God's people!

Three Jewish men (Barzillai, Shobi and Machir) have bonded together to help King David in his time of need.  His wicked son Absalom is rebelling and seeking to usurp the Throne from his father.

David is fleeing the capital city and apparently needs supplies!

Our heroes have provided him with sustenance.  They brought grains and vegetables to meet his basic needs!  (Daniel sure fared well on such a diet!)

BUT today we learn they brought more!

They also gave "honey and butter and sheep and cheese of kine!"  2nd Samuel 17:29

"Honey" comes from a Hebrew word that means to be "gummy" or "sticky."  It is one of the natural "sweets" God has created for mankind!  These men even provided David with some "dessert!" 

Since (as Proverbs 16:24 tells us) it's so that "Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones,"  just think what pleasant deeds might be!

(Here's an interesting Bible Study.  Go through Scripture and discover all the things that are "sweet" in God's eyes!  Then do to Him those things bring a sense of sweetness to His heart!)

And the word for "butter" (used 10 times in the Bible) means just what it says.  (Notice it does not say margarine here!  Or some fake substitute!  They brought the real thing!)  But it comes from a verb ("chomah" in Hebrew) that means "a wall of protection!"  What a gift for one's leader!

Now with the "sheep" even more goals are accomplished!  (Multi=purpose gifts!) We've gone from grains and vegetables to desserts and now even some luxuries ... what else could they have possibly brought?

"Sheep!"

They brought the King some meat to eat!

Notice it's not frozen or canned or even preserved with a bunch of chemicals either! 

It's fresh meat!

Lamb Chops!  Stew!  Read strength giving solid food!

BUT ... the sheep not only give David a balanced diet, they also afford him the opportunity to worship His God!  To sacrifice to His Heavenly father!

How very precise these givers were!

Then comes the "cheese."  The Hebrew word here is unique.  This is the only time it appears in all the Bible!  Whatever this cheese was ... it was "special!"  (Don't be guessing what kind of cheese!  Cheddar, Swiss, or hosts of others!  It was a one-of-a-kind variety!  "Designer" cheese!  Custom made!  The BEST cheese for the BEST King, they no doubt thought!)

I think these lists of gifts give us all some ideas of things we can do for our leaders.  By "leaders" here I primarily mean our Preachers!

Why, the Philippians sent Paul some little gifts (carried by an individual hundreds of miles from Philippi to Rome) ...and Paul went WILD when he received them! That little act of kindness gave us a whole paragraph in the New Testament.  In it we learn how to properly say "Thank You" for a present from a fellow believer!  "But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.  For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.  Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.  But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:10-19

There's just no telling what little gifts mean to discouraged leaders!

Be a "cheerleader" for the Man of God who feeds you from the precious Bible we all hold so dear!

Join the ranks of such noble followers of the Lord as Barzillai, Shobi and Machir!

You'll some day be glad you did!

Matthew 10:41 tells us:  "He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward."  And David was a prophet!  (Acts 2:29-30)

What rewards await those who stand with and encourage the Man of God!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2004:

What kindness these three men have shown to King David!

But not just to the King ... "for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness." 2nd Samuel 17:29

Notice that there are some folks standing with King David as he is under attack!

What a thought that is!

"Standing with the Preacher!"

As Ezra preached on the day of that great Revival in Nehemiah 8, a group of men stood with him (right beside him) as he proclaimed the Word of God!  (Just to encourage and protect him no doubt!)  "And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam."  (Nehemiah 8:4)  Wow!  Count them! Six men on his right hand and seven on his left!  (Every preacher needs 13 men who will stand with him time and time again!)

One day a little boy stood with the great Apostle Paul ... saving his life!  It's a lengthy account but watch for the little nephew of Paul in it!  "And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.  And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.  And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul. Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.  And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.  Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him.  So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee.  Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?  And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly.  But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.  So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me.  And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night; And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor."  (Acts 23:12-24)  Without this young man's heroic standing with Paul, we might be missing a few New Testament Epistles!

Once two men stood with Moses during a fierce battle also!  "Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.  And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.  So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.  But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.  And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword."  (Exodus 17:8-13)   Did you see what Aaron and Hur did?  They literally stood with the Man of God!

And in 2 Corinthians 12 Paul once had to "brag" on himself!  He had to defend himself!  Why? Because no one stood with him in that whole Corinthian church! Here are his words:  "I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing."  (2 Corinthians 12:11)  That verb "have been commended" translates "sunistao" and means "to stand with" someone! Sadly Paul tells the people in Corinth YOU OUGHT TO HAVE STOOD WITH ME ... but no one did!

Honor those who stand with the Men of God!

Barzillai and his companions did!

Those who stand with a Man of God just might get a Man of God's reward!  I base this statement on Matthew 10:41 --- "He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward."  Wow!

All you good folks today ... go find a good Preacher and stand with him and love him and pray for him and support him and defend him and encourage him all you can!  (And your godly Bible-preaching Pastor is the best place to start!)

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, THE FINAL WORDS OF OUR TEXT, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2004:

In our last study of this great text notice the motivation for all these kind deeds! "For they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness." 2nd Samuel 17:29b

The word for "hungry" here (in Hebrew = "raeb") means "of failing strength due to lack of food."  It is used 22 times in the King James Bible ... all being translated as "hungry" except one.  That one time it's "hungerbitten." (Job 18:12)

The adjective for "weary" means faint (6 times in the Bible) as well as thirsty (3 times).  But it's most often rendered weary (8 times).

These folks are exhausted and hungry!

The word "thirsty" is derived from a verb that means "to be dry or to suffer thirst." The first time it is used in the Bible (Exodus 17:3) God provided water for His grumbling people! This time He provides for His fearful fleeing people!  (Yet the water or the milk or the wine is not mentioned in the list of "gifts" above!  Perhaps God had that waiting for them in some cool flowing brook along the way!  Some things man just can't provide!)

And note where they were ... "in the wilderness!"  The word here (in Hebrew = "midbar") means desert or the south.  (They were traveling southward.)

Barzillai and his cohorts knew where to find the discouraged King and his household! 

I thought of something yesterday as I pondered this text.  This is not the first time the crowd around David was in such dejected condition!  Earlier in his life, as he fled from wicked King Saul, 1 Samuel 22:2 tells us:  "And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him (David); and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men."  Wow!

And he also wanted Mephibosheth around all the time (lame and handicapped and weak)!

It just seems that David attracted such outcasts and loved to be around them!

WHAT A TYPE OF CHRIST!

Jesus gathered around him a bunch of fishermen and (hated) tax collectors and despised Galileans of various kinds!  (Not counting the former thieves and immoral people ...notice I said "former!") 

In fact, He even loved me!

Jesus' strange taste in men and women (in sinners) ... is such that He says:  "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

Who is drawn to Jesus?  The meek and humble and convicted and repentant ones of earth!

Here's the "crowd" Jesus loves:  "Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them."  Matthew 11:4-5

And that motley crowd (motley = Anglo-French for "spotted," meaning a multi-colored group of people) around Jesus warmly responds to His love and Grace again and again!

By the way ... the "manifold" Grace of God (1st Peter 4:10) means the multi-colored Grace of God literally!  ("poikilos") 

So we have the many colored Grace of God for many colored sinners!  (And oh, how we had all been stained by sin!)

Love God's crowd!

Take care of them ... especially their leader (the Preacher) ... and see how God blesses you abundantly!

In fact, he gave to Barzillai more blessings that he could handle!  More than he had time to enjoy!  It reminds me of Malachi 3:10 and one of God's promises there.  "If I (God) will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." 

That's amazing!

(For a detailed account of Barzillai's abounding blessings ... see 2 Samuel 19:31-39. "And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and went over Jordan with the king, to conduct him over Jordan.  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.  And the king said unto Barzillai, Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem.  And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem?  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?  Thy servant will go a little way over Jordan with the king: and why should the king recompense it me with such a reward? 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.  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.  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."  (Chimhan may have been a son to Barzillai!  Being good to the leader will not only bring blessings upon you ... but maybe upon your children too!)

God has just clearly spoken!

I've said enough!

(Go find a Preacher and encourage him today!)

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

OUR PRAYER IS THAT THIS SERIES OF BIBLE STUDY LESSONS HAS BEEN A BLESSING TO YOU AND HAS MOTIVATED YOU TO MORE FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN SERVICE!  (ALL FOR THE GLORY OF OUR DEAR LORD JESUS CHRIST!)

 

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