Happy Mother’s Day
I am continuing the series on motherhood – and today, the focus is on Rizpah – one tenacious woman.
I love women who do the right thing even when it will be of no benefit to their comfort.
Rizpah was that kind of woman. Shall we?
Rizpah – Saul’s concubine
Not a wife. Nor a “second-wife.” A concubine – in other words? Saul’s mistress. Doesn’t get an inheritance. Not in the will. Not in the lineage.
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
She bore him two sons.
An ugly rumor stating that Rizpah had an affair with Saul’s commanding general, Abner, led to the end of Saul’s dynasty, and the establishment of the Davidic Dynasty, which is significant in Israel’s and in salvation history. (From Every Woman in the Bible by Sue and Larry Richards.) (2 Samuel 3.7)
Israel was suffering from a devastating, three-year famine and God revealed to David, now the king, that the famine was due to Saul’s attempt to exterminate the Gibeonites. (See Joshua 9)
So, being kingly, David went to the Gibeonites and asked how he could atone for Saul’s sin. They refused money, instead they asked for the execution of seven of Saul’s descendants.
King David agreed and turned over five sons of Merab (Saul’s daughter) and the two sons of Rizpah.
Our friend, Rizpah, had NO say in the matter.
Zero. Zilch. Nada.
The seven descendants of Saul were hanged. The Words states… (reference 2 Samuel 21.1-14)
…and they hanged them on the hill before the LORD.
Now Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until the late rains poured on them from heaven (FIVE MONTHS). And she did not allow the birds of the air to rest on them by day nor the beasts of the field by night. (2 Samuel 21.10)
David shows compassion
David the king was so moved by Rizpah’s tenacity and determination that he went to the graves of Saul and Jonathan and gathered their bones, then collected the bones of these seven men, and buried them all in the tomb of Kish, Saul’s father.
The Saga of Saul
Saul’s saga was finally ended. It ended with the honorable burial of his body with his ancestors. And, this also brought reconciliation for David who had been terrorized, persecuted, and hunted down by Saul in an attempt to keep him from the throne of Israel.
The Famine Ended
It is never wrong to do right and, it is always right to do right.
Up close and personal with Rizpah
I greatly admire and aspire to Rizpah. She loved and honored her sons, even in their death and demise. Rizpah refused to let their remains be eaten by vultures and beasts. She displayed Motherly love in the most difficult of situations. Because of her courage and bravery, her sons were given an honorable burial.
Rizpah was now childless, “husbandless,” but not hopeless – she did what needed to be done and we honor her.
Ms. Rizpah paid a high price for respect.
She earned it.
Rizpah, thousands of years later you show me how to have bulldog tenacity in the most grievous of events – your courage and bravery inspire me. Thank you.