A Character Like Iron

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

“Barzillai was very old, being eighty years old; and he had sustained the king while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very great man.”2 Samuel 19:32 NASB

After the rebellion of Absalom was squelched, there was renewed support for David throughout Israel. This was a cause of rejoicing for those who had remained loyal during the civil war. But some sought to take advantage of his return to power, including people who had changed sides and supported Absalom.

But one man, Barzillai, was different. His name (which means “made of iron”) symbolized his character. He could be counted on and trusted, just like iron. David knew that he had been loyal even during difficult times.

Barzillai had proven himself and provided for David’s needs in his darkest hours, helping to support the embattled king out of his personal resources. The Bible says that Barzillai “was a very great man.” As far as David was concerned, he had proven himself.

When David offered to reward him, Barzillai declined. In fact, he asked for nothing for himself. Instead he asked David if he would bless his servant, Kimham. He wanted David to treat Kimham as though the king were rewarding Barzillai himself.

David was moved by this action, and Barzillai’s attitude. Even years later, as David was on his death bed, he told Solomon to “show kindness to the sons of Barzillai . . . let them be among those who eat at your table. They stood by me when I fled from your brother Absalom” (1 Kings 2:7).

Barzillai provides a wonderful example for us to emulate. A person who is valued by friends. By kings. By God. In your life, seek to follow his example. Seeking to be like iron. To be dependable and loyal. Faithful and consistent. Totally committed to live according to God’s principles. Careful to keep your promises. A person on whom others can count.


Prayer: Father, help me to be like iron, to be totally dependable and trustworthy. Help me to speak the truth, and keep my word. Use me, I pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.