2 Samuel 19:15-40 (Part 3) – Surrounded by Your Glory, What Will My Heart Feel?

Posted: August 9, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel

2 Samuel 19:15-40 (Part 3 of 3)
David Returns to Jerusalem

I can only imagine what it will be like. You know the song. “I Can Only Imagine” (sometimes shortened to “Imagine”) is a single recorded by Christian rock band MercyMe. Written and composed by lead vocalist Bart Millard, the song, based around a main piano track, was inspired by the death of Millard’s father and considers what it would be like in Heaven and to be standing before God. The song was first issued as a track on MercyMe’s 1999 album “The Worship Project“, which was released on an independent record label. The song was re-recorded and included on their 2001 major-label debut album “Almost There” as the fifth song on the album. “I Can Only Imagine” was released in 2001 as the album’s lead single. It gained significant airplay on Christian radio formats before crossing over to mainstream radio formats such as adult contemporary and Top 40 in late 2003 and into 2004. It charted on several formats, including the Billboard Adult Contemporary (where it peaked at No. 5) and the Hot 100 (where it peaked at No. 71). In 2002, “I Can Only Imagine” earned the Dove Awards for ‘Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year’ and ‘Song of the Year’; Millard earned the Dove Award ‘Songwriter of the Year’ at the same ceremony. With 2.5 million copies sold, it is the best-selling Christian single of all time, having been certified 3x platinum by the RIAA. As of 2018, it is the only Christian song to reach that milestone.

That song came to mind as I thought on the character of Barzillai in today’s passage. The song lyrics go like this:

I can only imagine
What it would be like
When I walk by your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes would see
When your face is before me
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in your presence
To my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all

I can only imagine
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
When that day comes
When I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in your presence
To my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine, yeah
I can only imagine

Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of You be still

Will I stand in your presence
To my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine yeah
I can only imagine yeah yeah
I can only imagine yeah yeah
I can only imagine
I can only imagine yeah yeah
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you
I can only imagine

That’s the thing that I have to remind myself when I get sideways about my journey into full-time ministry. I must remember that I am just lucky to be serving Jesus. Be faithful in the small things. Keep plowing the field in front of you. These are the things that God tells me through the influence of the Holy Spirit. Just trust Him as you serve Him. He is preparing you for what’s next. He has never failed yet in proving out to you that His process is what is best for you. Just serve Him. Just trust Him. Because when the race is run and the day is complete, we will be there before the king and he will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:23).

No matter what it is, we are lucky and privileged to be serving the Lord. What we deserve is to be nowhere his places of holiness. What we deserve is to be crushed by our iniquities. When I reflect on the person I was before I met Jesus, when I reflect on the person I was when I was a baby Christian, when I reflect on the person I was a Christian even 10 years ago or 5 years ago makes me ashamed before the mighty righteous One. When I think of the fact that I am now privileged to serve in the Lord’s house in any fashion, it is simply a miracle of God. The man I used to be long ago would have laughed at you if you had said that at age 55 that I would start my career over and be working full time at a church as its administrative pastor. Even now, when I get all worried about my progress in this position, I have to remember to enjoy the ride right in the place that I am at ride now. It is a just a miracle that I am here and serving the Lord. When I think back on my life and the direction it was heading, it is just a raw miracle that Jesus brought about intersections with people that changed the course of my life – Virgil & Debbie Whitted, Luke & Felisha Brower, Humbert Perez, Tim Lyda, Mike Blackwood, Jeff Hickman, and most of all, Elena Bowling, my beautiful bride. The value of these intersections is immeasurable. And here I stand now continuing in the steps of the process with new intersections of people that are part of God’s plan for my life – Jeff Duncan, Milton Mazariegos, and Tim Bowman. I am in awe in retrospect of how these people – all of them, in my past and in present – are part of God’s plan to mold me for what’s next continually. I have to keep remembering that when my pride gets in the way. I must remember that Joseph, Moses, and, even, Jesus waited, learned, and were faithful no matter the assignment and no matter how long that assignment took.

Then, when I get to heaven, man, what will that be like. Right now, I think of how in awe of God I am for what he has done for me, this lowly man that I am. I can only imagine how I will feel when I get to heaven. What awe I will feel then. There, I will reflect on how sinful I was on this side of eternity, and I will fall on my face in awe that I actually belong in heaven. Not because of what I did on earth but because of what Jesus did. How awe inspiring will that day be. It will make me cry I am sure. All those times on earth where I almost cried and held it back as hard as I could will come gushing out it this one unimaginable huge cry. A cry of joy. A cry of thankfulness. A cry of awe before the Mighty Righteous Judge.

That’s the idea that came to mind today as I focused on Barzillai in this passage, 2 Samuel 19:15-40, this morning (as part of three blogs on this passage). Over this blog the previous two, we have been focusing on the three characters that are presented (Shimei, Mephibosheth, and Barzillai). Today, we look at Barzillai. So, let’s read the passage now and think on Barzillai:

15 So the king started back to Jerusalem. And when he arrived at the Jordan River, the people of Judah came to Gilgal to meet him and escort him across the river. 16 Shimei son of Gera, the man from Bahurim in Benjamin, hurried across with the men of Judah to welcome King David. 17 A thousand other men from the tribe of Benjamin were with him, including Ziba, the chief servant of the house of Saul, and Ziba’s fifteen sons and twenty servants. They rushed down to the Jordan to meet the king. 18 They crossed the shallows of the Jordan to bring the king’s household across the river, helping him in every way they could.

As the king was about to cross the river, Shimei fell down before him. 19 “My lord the king, please forgive me,” he pleaded. “Forget the terrible thing your servant did when you left Jerusalem. May the king put it out of his mind. 20 I know how much I sinned. That is why I have come here today, the very first person in all Israel[a] to greet my lord the king.”

21 Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said, “Shimei should die, for he cursed the Lord’s anointed king!”

22 “Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah!” David exclaimed. “Why have you become my adversary[b] today? This is not a day for execution, for today I am once again the king of Israel!” 23 Then, turning to Shimei, David vowed, “Your life will be spared.”

24 Now Mephibosheth,[c] Saul’s grandson, came down from Jerusalem to meet the king. He had not cared for his feet, trimmed his beard, or washed his clothes since the day the king left Jerusalem. 25 “Why didn’t you come with me, Mephibosheth?” the king asked him.

26 Mephibosheth replied, “My lord the king, my servant Ziba deceived me. I told him, ‘Saddle my donkey[d] so I can go with the king.’ For as you know I am crippled. 27 Ziba has slandered me by saying that I refused to come. But I know that my lord the king is like an angel of God, so do what you think is best. 28 All my relatives and I could expect only death from you, my lord, but instead you have honored me by allowing me to eat at your own table! What more can I ask?”

29 “You’ve said enough,” David replied. “I’ve decided that you and Ziba will divide your land equally between you.”

30 “Give him all of it,” Mephibosheth said. “I am content just to have you safely back again, my lord the king!”

31 Barzillai of Gilead had come down from Rogelim to escort the king across the Jordan. 32 He was very old—eighty years of age—and very wealthy. He was the one who had provided food for the king during his stay in Mahanaim. 33 “Come across with me and live in Jerusalem,” the king said to Barzillai. “I will take care of you there.”

34 “No,” he replied, “I am far too old to go with the king to Jerusalem. 35 I am eighty years old today, and I can no longer enjoy anything. Food and wine are no longer tasty, and I cannot hear the singers as they sing. I would only be a burden to my lord the king. 36 Just to go across the Jordan River with the king is all the honor I need! 37 Then let me return again to die in my own town, where my father and mother are buried. But here is your servant, my son Kimham. Let him go with my lord the king and receive whatever you want to give him.”

38 “Good,” the king agreed. “Kimham will go with me, and I will help him in any way you would like. And I will do for you anything you want.” 39 So all the people crossed the Jordan with the king. After David had blessed Barzillai and kissed him, Barzillai returned to his own home.

40 The king then crossed over to Gilgal, taking Kimham with him. All the troops of Judah and half the troops of Israel escorted the king on his way.

In this passage, we see that David showed tremendous mercy and generosity as he returned to Jerusalem. He spared Shimei, restored Mephibosheth, and rewarded the faithfulness of Barzillai. Barzillai was just being a God fearing soul when he showed hospitality to David and his men when they were fleeing from the capital, Jerusalem. He just was that kind of guy. He loved the Lord so he was going to serve others as if he was serving the Lord.

So, when he comes before the king, he is humbled by the king’s favor. The king recognized that he had been a good and faithful servant. He passed his favor on to his own servant in humility. He was still serving the king and thinking of the king when he passed off his favor to one of his household. He was faithful. He was humble. He was serving the King because he was doing it as unto the Lord. No real favor needed. Just knowing the king wanted to show him favor was enough.

That’s the hope. Be faithful. Be humble. Serve those around you because you are doing it unto the Lord. Learn what you need to learn. Then the Lord will show you favor.

Amen and Amen.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s