Day 58 of 10 week challenge: Be a Rizpah

Posted: November 15, 2012 in Faith
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Who is Rizpah? I didn’t know her well until I was introduced to this woman in the Bible. When I first read about Rizpah I saw her as a lady who witnessed her two sons die for their father’s wrongdoings and she was simply a lady who was grieving and would not leave the bodies of her sons. I didn’t see the significance. Until I was introduced, and went deeper into the life of this woman. Every single passage and mention in the Bible is there for a Reason, so what was Rizpah’s reason?

    2 Samuel 21

Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the presence of the LORD. And the LORD said, “It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.  During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the Lord. The Lord said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.” 2 The king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were survivors of the Amorites; the Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah had tried to annihilate them.) 3 David asked the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? How shall I make atonement so that you will bless the Lord’s inheritance?” 4 The Gibeonites answered him, “We have no right to demand silver or gold from Saul or his family, nor do we have the right to put anyone in Israel to death.” “What do you want me to do for you?” David asked. 5 They answered the king, “As for the man who destroyed us and plotted against us so that we have been decimated and have no place anywhere in Israel, 6 let seven of his male descendants be given to us to be killed and their bodies exposed before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul—the Lord’s chosen one.” So the king said, “I will give them to you.” 7 The king spared Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the oath before the Lord between David and Jonathan son of Saul. 8 But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah’s daughter Rizpah, whom she had borne to Saul, together with the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab,[a] whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite. 9 He handed them over to the Gibeonites, who killed them and exposed their bodies on a hill before the Lord. All seven of them fell together; they were put to death during the first days of the harvest, just as the barley harvest was beginning. 10 Rizpah daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on a rock. From the beginning of the harvest till the rain poured down from the heavens on the bodies, she did not let the birds touch them by day or the wild animals by night. 11 When David was told what Aiah’s daughter Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, had done, 12 he went and took the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh Gilead. (They had stolen their bodies from the public square at Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hung them after they struck Saul down on Gilboa.) 13 David brought the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from there, and the bones of those who had been killed and exposed were gathered up. 14 They buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the tomb of Saul’s father Kish, at Zela in Benjamin, and did everything the king commanded. After that, God answered prayer in behalf of the land.

First of all Rizpah’s sons were taken from her and killed because of something their father Saul had done and because there was a famine Saul’s actions were obviously blamed (And back in those days if you could not punish someone already dead you went after their kin). They were 2 of 7 boys who were hung. Rizpah stood day and night where her son’s were hung during the barley season (Which was 5 months) For 5 months she fought off animals with a sackcloth, she stood there 5 months enduring the smell and NEVER gave up. She was likely seen as a crazy woman, the parents of the other 5 boys had given up. Rizpah remained. King David heard about her dedication and gathered the bones for a proper burial.

1. Never give up. There will be times where everything seems hopeless, where you want to give up on someone. Perhaps you have been praying for someone or hoping someone changes. Perhaps there is someone in your life suffering a bad lifestyle such as an addiction. It seems that no matter what you do nothing seems to be working. Don’t give up. Always pray, keep reaching out. Be a Rizpah. never give up.

2. Help keep the Vultures at bay. Would you spend 5 months in the heat standing on a rock by rotting smelling bodies? Would you spend months fighting off “Vultures” from someone’s life even though it;s repetative and seems hopeless? Would you keep those vultures at bay for the less likely person…you know that bad mouthing, smelling, ungrateful, low life, scum of a person that everyone hates? Would you stand by a “dead” body with a sackcloth?

3. Expect change and results. Expect those results when you pray, expect results when you never give up. Rizpah expected results, it took 5 long months but she fought and after 5 months her son’s bones were gathered and given proper burial. Having a proper burial meant a lot in those days thus Rizpah was victorious. She was not the only mother who had to endure having her children snatched away because of the sins of their father.

I have many people in my life whom I have been told to give up on. I have been told to burn bridges and never speak to them again.  Sometimes even my own husband thinks I’m stupid…or simply just a glutton for punishment or something. I’ve got irritaing people in my life, ones who are known as “Scum” some who bash my faith constantly and some who just treat me and others unfairly. But I don’t want to give up on them. I want to turn the other cheek and bite my tounge instead of lashing back. I want to be a Rizpah, I don’t want to give up, I want to fight off the vultures for these people and I expect results even if it means I have to endure a whole lot of patience.


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