People, David is still on my mind today, but in a different way. My preoccupation this morning is David/Barzillai, David/Mephiboshet and Caleb.
When Absalom staged that coup against his father and the latter fled, Barzillai was one of the people who was good to him. The bible describes him as 'a very aged man, even fourscore years old' (that would be about 80 years).
On his way back to Israel to reclaim his throne, David, in gratitude, invited Barzillai to 'come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem' Oh! what an opportunity. But was what Barzillai's response? 'How long do I have to live that I will go...I am this day fourscore years...can I discern between evil and good? Can I hear anymore the voice of singing men and singing women? Why should your servant be yet a 'burden' unto my Lord the King?' and then went further to propose someone else for this great blessing. What a shame, another sick man by the Pool of Bethesda.
Enter Caleb: Remember Caleb? God, through Moses had promised him that 'wheresoever the sole of your feet shall touch, you will possess, you and your children' and when Caleb was in his 'fourscore and five years' he suddenly woke up and remembered that promise and said 'as my strength was then, so it is today, now for war, both to go and to come...' ready to fight a war at age 85? Surely you don't think he was going to just waltz in and 'collect' the cities? He was going to fight for them...a complete contrast to Barzillai, who has completely lost his own sense of adventure, his taste buds, his hearing, his desire for life, period. He had no strength left to to go sit among, no, sit with the King simply because he had allowed his energy to deplete with soft living. What was worse, the vocalized those thoughts himself.
Now for Mephiboshet: lame on both feet, he would, by all counts, be an embarrassment to the King and the Kingdom, especially if he had to sit with the VIPS visiting the King. However, Mephiboshet, though he referred to himself as a 'dog', did not consider himself beneath such invitations, and gladly accepted it.
I pondered on these 3 men and I ask myself: Which am I? What am I missing? what have I missed because I gave all sorts of excuses? For Caleb, this was no longer about physical age, but about how he 'saw' himself inside. We all know what an 85 year old man looks like, and what he is capable of. Barzillai was a rich man who sat in his riches and grew soft. And Mephiboshet...really, a word is enough for the wise...
Be free oh.