The Iron Man
2 Corinthians 9:6-10
--Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the story of a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence and ingenuity, Tony builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armor and vows to protect the world as Iron Man.
Or –The people whose muscles look as if they are about to pop out of their skin. This is not about the lifestyles of those into bodybuilding.
Barzillai—of iron-Iron of the Lord, most firm and true, strong. A Gileadite of Rogelim who made a difference in David’s life.
The setting is a time when Absalom’s army was after David the king. Ahithophel was simply to go and to “smite the king only”. Absalom knew that the only way for him to have the kingdom was to kill his own dad. Hushai give advice that is different from Ahithophel, and upon hearing that his advice was not taken, Ahithophel hanged himself.
David goes to Mahanaim, which was a fortified city with walls and gates. During this time, Absalom was anointed king by the priests. Once David arrived in Mahanaim, he was greeted by those who supported him.
I.Barzallai was a Generous Man-2Sam 17:27-29
Shobi, Machir and Barzalli- these three individuals provided an impressive supply of material to meet the practical needs of David’s government-in-exile. Look at vs28-29 at the list of supplies that was brought to David. Now that the group was settling down in Mahanaim, the provisions that they had left back in Jerusalem was now needed. This could help David and his people get back to some sense of domestic life.
They also provided food for them.
One of the hardest times of David’s life, these men were ministering to him. Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith”. We should learn to be generous and open-handed according to our ability, to all in distress, to those to whom it is most grievous, and to good men.
II. Barzallai was a Contented Man- 2 Samuel 19:31ff-Old age exhibits a special beauty . After David’s victory, the death of Absalom, David is about to cross over Jordan and return to Jerusalem. Barzallai was there to escort the king over Jordan. Yes, he was about eighty years old and very wealthy(vs31).
a)David’s invitation-- David speaks to him in Vs33- “Come across with me and live in Jerusalem…I will take care of you”. Why would the king say that to Barzallai? David remembered how Barzallai and the other two had met him where he was and ministered to him and his troops.
b)Barzallai’s reply-vs34-37- Note the wisdom from this man
-Vs34- First, he declines—I am too old (READ “The Big 60” – SBC LIFE)
-Vs35-I will only be a burden to you—I don’t enjoy eating anything and really cannot hear that much—I don’t want to burden you
-Vs 36- “Why should the king recompense it with such reward? He admires the king’s generosity and tries to lessen his service—it would be well for him to usher the king across the Jordan.
-Vs37-“Let me die in my own city”- he was willing to consider his future. He knew death was not far away, so he needed to think about his removal out of the world. He was content to go and be buried with his family.
Sometimes we meet with old age, hard, bitter, venomed, and remorseful, and, while our hearts are touched with tender interest, we feel that we can only pity—there is no admiration, because there is no moral, and probably no physical, beauty.
In Barzillai we see all the natural, physical beauties of age crowned by virtues of the most attractive kind. His kindness.
--His desire to share in such valued society and his quiet content with the comforts and joys of home, show his wisdom.
-His anxiety not to be a burden to the king -considerateness.
-His having befriended, honoured, and loved the banished king when appearances were against him, and his being privileged to take so tender a leave of the Lord’s anointed, was a sign of distinguished loyalty.
David and Barzillai never met again on earth--
NOTE vs37b- “But, behold thy servant Chimham: let him go over with my lord the king and do to him what shall seem good unto thee”
III. Barzallai was a Remembered Man- 1 Kings 2:7
David gives his final instructions to Solomon, his son. He tells him to take courage and to be a man, and to be sure to observe the requirements of the Lord. He tells him to keep the commands of the Lord so that he will be successful.
Then in vs7, “be kind to the sons of Barzallai of Gilead”.
a) Sustain them—Make sure that you feed them at your table. Let them draw their food from the royal table.
David wanted Barzillai’s sons to reap what their father had sown.
Barzillai was helpful to David in his trials and triumphs; but it was not the mere food (ch. 17:28, 29) which he, with others, brought that gave strength to David’s heart --to have the friendship and the kindly attentions of a venerable man of God, was to the king a real spring of new life and vigour.
We should covet the honour of bringing our ripest and best attainments and placing them at the service of Christ.
-“Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days” (Eccl 11:1)
-“other (seed) fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased” (Mark 4:8)
-“Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything” (Prov 11:24) “Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed” (vs25)
-Are you a Barzillai? Are you an iron-man in someone’s life today?