The Story of Barzillai

Moe Bergeron
Sun, 2021-07-25
  • As we read the Story of David and Barzillai in 2 Samuel we learn some lessons including how to prepare to live to a God-pleasing old age
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Sermon Slides - The story of Barzillai


This message is about one old saint of God
who brought comfort to King David
while he was making his way through a
very deep, dark and discouraging time.


  1. The Story of David and Barzillai in 2 Samuel 17 & 19
  2. How to learn from Barzillai and others?
  3. How to prepare to live to a God-pleasing old age?

1. The Story of David and Barzillai in 2 Samuel 17 & 19

2 Samuel 15

Scriptures from CSB (Christian Standard Bible)

  1. …an informer came to David and reported, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.”
  2. David said to all the servants with him in Jerusalem,
    “Get up. We have to flee, or we will not escape from Absalom!
    Leave quickly, or he will overtake us quickly, heap disaster on us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”

2 Samuel 15 cont’d

  1. The king’s servants said to the king,
    “Whatever my lord the king decides, we are your servants.”
  2. Then the king set out, and his entire household followed him. But he left behind ten concubines to take care of the palace.

2 Samuel 17

  1. When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, Machir son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim
  2. brought beds, basins, and pottery items. They also brought wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils,
  3. honey, curds, sheep, goats, and cheese from the herd for David and the people with him to eat. They had reasoned, “The people must be hungry, exhausted, and thirsty in the wilderness.”

2 Samuel 19

  1. Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim and accompanied the king to the Jordan River to see him off at the Jordan.
  2. Barzillai was a very old man—eighty years old—and since he was a very wealthy man, he had provided for the needs of the king while he stayed in Mahanaim.
  3. The king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me, and I’ll provide for you at my side in Jerusalem.”

Mark 10

  1. James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him and said, “Teacher, we want you to do whatever we ask you.”
  2. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked them.
  3. They answered him, “Allow us to sit at your right and at your left in your glory.”
  4. Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup I drink or to be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

Back to 2 Samuel 19

  1. Barzillai replied to the king, “How many years of my life are left that I should go up to Jerusalem with the king?
  2. I’m now eighty years old.
    • Can I discern what is pleasant and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats or drinks?
    • Can I still hear the voice of male and female singers?
    • Why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?

2 Samuel 19 cont’d

  1. Since your servant is only going with the king a little way across the Jordan, why should the king repay me with such a reward?
  2. Please let your servant return so that I may die in my own city near the tomb of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham; let him cross over with my lord the king. Do for him what seems good to you.”
  3. The king replied, “Chimham will cross over with me, and I will do for him what seems good to you, and whatever you desire from me I will do for you.”

2 Samuel 19 cont’d

  1. So all the people crossed the Jordan, and then the king crossed.
    The king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and Barzillai returned to his home.
  2. The king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went with him. All the troops of Judah and half of Israel’s escorted the king.


  • He knows he’s old, but he’s at peace with it.
  • Satisfied with the simple things of this life.
  • God provided for him, he needed to provide to others

Acts 4

  1. Now the entire group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but instead they held everything in common.

God has given us other Barzillai’s to learn from

  • We can read our Bibles to:
  • rest with Abraham while he sat under the shade of the oak of Mamre.
  • ascend the mountain-top with Christ, and sit among the disciples to hear the Word of Life.
  • at the end of the age we can listen to the angels singing as they bow down to worship the Lamb and the Lion.

Of Abraham the Scriptures tell us...
Genesis 25

  1. He took his last breath and died at a good old age, old and contented, and he was gathered to his people.
  • “Old and contented” is a picture of Abraham’s descendant Barzillai.

How do you and I prepare to live a ripe old God-pleasing age?

  • by walking with God as did Enoch—Genesis 5
  1. And after he fathered Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and fathered other sons and daughters.
  2. So Enoch’s life lasted 365 years.
  3. Enoch walked with God; then he was not there because God took him.

And remember Job’s saying... (ch.1)

  1. Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.
  2. Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything.

Psalm 92

  1. The righteous thrive like a palm tree and grow like a cedar tree in Lebanon.
  2. Planted in the house of the LORD, they thrive in the courts of our God.
  3. They will still bear fruit in old age, healthy and green,
  4. to declare, “The LORD is just; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”

Where do we begin?? – Isaiah 1:

  1. “Wash yourselves. Cleanse yourselves. Remove your evil deeds from my sight. Stop doing evil.
  2. Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause.

1 Corinthians 6

  1. Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or males who have sex with males,
  2. no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.
  3. And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Barzillai’s sons shared his blessing – 1 Kings 2

  1. As the time approached for David to die, he ordered his son Solomon,
  2. “Show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite and let them be among those who eat at your table because they supported me when I fled from your brother Absalom.

Matthew 5

  1. “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden.
  2. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house.
  3. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Last words...

  • My brothers and sisters, grow old well!

Isaiah 46 ESV

  • Here’s a promise for you
    • Embrace it while you are still young.
    • Remember it when you grow old.
  1. “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb;
  2. even to your old age I am he,
    • and to gray hairs I will carry you.
    • I have made, and I will bear (sustain);
    • I will carry and will save.

Blessing – Hebrews 13

We are called to bring the love of Christ to one another

  1. Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus—the great Shepherd of the sheep—through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
  2. equip you with everything good to do his will, working in us what is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Updated on 2021-07-29 by Moe Bergeron