OCTOBER 9: COMPASSION

COMPASSION

By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"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."
2 Samuel 17:-27-29
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Compassion - A sympathetic expression displayed through a kind act or activity toward one experiencing distress.
-Comfort extended to another during a time of difficulty.
-The desire to aid and relieve one who is undergoing situational difficulty.
The acts of Barzillai stimulate us to concretely and effectively respond to the needs of those  undergoing difficulty or distress.
Three virtues of Barzillai:
Discerning, Thoughtful, Compassionate.
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2 Samuel 17:27-29 and 1 Kings 2:7
Seasons of distress and darkness were familiar landscapes to David:
Relationally,
Vocationally,
Situationally,
David was an "experienced soul" with blended composites of duress and difficulty in his background, and emotional and mental bouts of despondencies and disillusionments too many to tell.
David's life experiences, indeed, catapult him to the top of experiential wisdom and comfort and we turn to him when our lives are riddled with heartache, difficulty, and despair ... because David has been there.
In "this" particular episode of Scripture, David is on the run from his beloved son Absalom, who is temporarily seeking to dethrone his father and enthrone himself.
It's a time of unprecedented upheaval and upset;
It's a season of heartache and emotional duress.
"And David went up by the acent of Mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went."
2 Samuel 15:30
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Hmmm ...
Still God is there and sovereignly in control,
 And at the intersection of grief and despair He appoints a "Barzillai."
Barzillai is not a regular person and his name is not a regular name and that's why it fits him:
-He's a haven from the "hell" David is experiencing,
-He's a refuge from the storm threatening to undo David.
-He's a source of unspeakable comfort and encouragement in a valley of despair too deep for words.
Barzillai speaks a tangible language of God's compassion into David's broken, weary, and battered life. He speaks hope, health, and healing through the generous gifts he supplies and the deliverance of practical aid he bestows; all in an effort to temporarily relieve David of a great burden.
And he does ...
-Praise be to God for His divinely appointed graces.
-Praise God for the compassionate faces that appear unexpectedly in our broken moments.
-Praise God for every Barzillai who resonates and speaks to the character of God in our lives in our desolate, difficult moments.
Small wonder that David's final words to Solomon (his son) resonate with a memory of tender appeal for Barzillai:
"But show kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at my table; for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother."
1 Kings 2:7
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Be a loving "Barzillai" and extend compassion to another in need.
And Lord ...
Grant a special grace to every individual who has been a "Barzillai" to me, and let them eat and be given favor at my table.