We played a game with a women's group at church recently. One of the questions was "Who is your favorite Bible Charecter. My answer was Rizpah. Now for some reason Eve, and Mary are much more well known then Rizpah. Go figure! Anyway, since then I have been once again thinking much about her. So I thought I would share why she is my favorite. I first learned of her when I heard a mother's day message about her. I was in awe of her, but it wasn't until my oldest son was in his late teens that I really began to understand how very important it is to be a Rizpah.
II Samuel 21:1-8
2Sa 21:1 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. 2 And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.)
3 Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD?
4 And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you. 5 And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel 6 Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give them. 7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD'S oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: 9 And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest. 10 And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night. 11 And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. 12 And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabeshgilead, which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa: 13 And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged.14 And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was intreated for the land. "
Verses 1-7 are included just to give a point of reference to the story. You are welcome and encouraged to study this part out yourself. To begin with I want to draw your attention to a few seemingly random points. In verse 8 we are introduced to a mother of two boys named Armoni and Mephibosheth, her name is Rizpah. Be careful that you do not confuse Rizpah's son Mephibosheth with Jonathon's son, whom was spared. (Side note if you do not know the incredible story of the first bus kid named Mephibosheth, please make a point of reading II Samuel 9). Anyway, the next point I want you to see drops down to verse 11. King David takes notice of Rizpah, then at the end of verse 13, you see that not only did the king take notice of Rizpah, he met her need by caring for her sons. Praise God!!!!
Why is Rizpah my favorite Bible Character. Because I can relate to this mother's heart. You see I have five children, four sons and a daughter, and like her sons, my children are hanging out on a limb. There is a roaring lion stalking about, there are vultures flying overhead waiting to peck them off. I need, desperately, for THE KING to take notice of me and protect my children. So I want to see what she did to be noticed by the king, so I can follow her example and be noticed by THE KING.
The first thing is her determination to protect her sons regardless of her own comfort. So I have to ask myself: Will I stay on my knees for my children, all day, all night, will I go with out food, will I ignore all physical comforts to stay until THE KING takes notice? For their sakes, I must.
Another thing I notice is how she goes about her task. She is on the defensive,not the offensive. She will defend her children, that is all. I almost see her as a scarecrow. Her presence is constant, but not offensive. It is silent, yet so very loud. That is what I must find out how to do. I can not run around yelling scriptures and chasing people I don't like away, no matter how tempted I am to try. I can not play the role of a hell-fire and brimstone preacher spouting and spitting, that is not my role to fill. But, I can make sure that my presence is faithfully and constantly felt. That no matter what happens, my children know I am here, that I haven't moved from my spot. I may not be able to choose their friends, but I can make sure that they know I am here to help them find the way back to the “Friend who never fails.” when they can't find him. I can not take them over my knee, but I can make my love, my prayers known. Maybe through one letter, one “word fitly spoken” I can make a difference, and keep the beasts away.
The last thing to be noticed about this dear lady is her faithfulness She doesn't quit. Now I have not studied out the exact time span of the Barley season, I vaguely remember hearing it was two or three months, but I just don't know. What I do know is this. It did not matter. Rizpah didn't care how long she had to stay there. She knew what she had to do and she was going to do it until the King took notice.
Rizpah is a mother who truly knew what it meant to have a sacrificial love for her children. I want to be just like her.
Mrs. Jean Covey
PS It's okay, I asked Sarah if I could post this.
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