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Grace Notes Ministry:
What Was Her Name?
II Sam. 21: 5-14
Ever heard of Rizpah? Probably not, but she is a great example for us all this Mother’s Day.
I. Rizpah was a Mother of Example In Her DEVOTION. v 10
This lady named Rizpah was Saul's concubine. She bore him two sons. She may have been a Gentile of the Horites. Her name means hot stone or glowing stone. This may have reference to physical appearance. Most likely she would not have been a concubine if she did not possess some outstanding physical beauty. This may also be the reason one of Saul's sons was accused of taking Rizpah as his concubine after Saul's death (2 Sam. 3:7).
Whatever else Rizpah was, she rose to demonstrate her devotion to her sons. There was a famine in the land. Rizpah may have known it was caused by Saul’s sin in that he broke a treaty with the Gibeonites. Saul's action caused God to send the drought and famine. If she knew this she may have also realized the sons of Saul would be required as a sacrifice by the Gibeonites. She did not want her sons to die. If they had to die she wanted them to have a place of burial.
Rizpah loved her sons and her devotion to them is an example. Her devotion caused her to identify with the suffering and embarrassment of these boys. She did not shun her sons in their time of need. She was there by her sons. Her devotion caused her to stay with them during the months of their shame. Family is needed most in time of need. They understand and their presence is most helpful.
Verse 10 tells us she spread a sackcloth on the land. There can be several reasons for this - 1) she may be indicating her repentance and the repentance of the land 2) she may have used it for a place to lie down 3) she may have used it as a tent for shelter. But since it is sackcloth, it is my opinion it had something to do with repentance. Since she was Saul's concubine it would seem she could have gotten other kinds of covering if she did not want to emphasize repentance.
The latter part of verse 10 tells of her activity during these months of agony. She kept the birds of prey and the wild beasts from devouring the bodies of her sons. It was the intent of the Gibeonites to have these sons of Saul ripped apart by the vultures and wild beasts. There is an order to this in nature. The vultures come while the jackals wait. When they are done they do their eating of the flesh and finally, the crows come to pick the bones clean. Some animals will pull the skeletons apart and scatter them for miles. Rizpah wanted a burial for her sons. She stood by and did her best to keep the vultures away. Why? She did this because of her devotion to her sons.
Real devotion will sometimes reveal itself in the form of ‘tough love’. What is tough love, really?
Ill.—“We had the meanest mother in the whole
world! While other kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal,
eggs, and toast. When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to
eat sandwiches. And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was
different from what other kids had, too. Mother insisted on knowing where we
were at all times. You'd think we were convicts in a prison. She had to know
(1) Eating between meals not
Rizpah is an example of some rules we ought to have today. As she kept vultures and wild beasts away, we also should do that in a spiritual sense. There is a vulture of sex waiting prey for our youth. This is a vulture when it is taken out of a Biblical context. Pre-marital and promiscuous sex is a vulture. I heard of a mother (supposed to be a Christian) who equipped her daughter with birth control techniques because of the way many youth live today. That's not fighting vultures.
There is a wild beast of drugs. We should fight that beast off. There should not be identity of our youth with the drug culture. Much of today’s music is a wild beast. Mom and Dad need to fight off these wild beasts.
Although those thoughts are not
really in the text, the parallel can easily be made. Rizpah is an example
because she was devoted to the task. Notice her example in her
II. Rizpah was a Mother of Example In Her DEMONSTRATION.
Rizpah was just a concubine. She was not a wife. If, in fact, Rizpah's father, Aiah, is the Horite mentioned in I Chron. 1:40, she would be a Gentile concubine. The people would not have much respect for her and this makes her demonstration even more noticeable. She risked personal abuse by demonstrating her love, nevertheless, she is an example.
To the people of this day dying in the manner of Rizpah's sons was regarded as the greatest ignominy that could befall the dead. Still Rizpah demonstrated her love and identification with her sons. She was demonstrating a conviction by expressing "I'll die here before I let some wild beast have the corpses of my sons." I think she was also demonstrating that she would make any personal sacrifice necessary in order to gain a burial place for her children.
If the sons of Rizpah had lived after this time they would have remembered her demonstration. “Her children arise up and call her blessed.” [Proverbs]
III. Rizpah was a Mother of Example In Her
DEDICATION. v 9-11
"CLONING MOM "
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thru the abode
Only one creature was stirring, & she was cleaning the commode.
The children were sleeping, all snug in their beds,
with visions of X Box 360 in their heads.
The dad was snoring afront the TV,
with a half-constructed bicycle propped on his knee.
So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
which made her sigh, "Now what is the matter?"
With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs, & saw the old man.
He was covered with ashes & soot, and he shrugged,
"Oh great," muttered mom, "Now I have to clean the rug."
"Ho Ho Ho!" cried Santa, "I'm glad you're awake."
"your gift was especially difficult to make."
"Thanks, Santa, but all I want is time alone."
"Exactly!" he chuckled, "So, I've made you a clone."
"A clone?" she queried, "What good is that?"
"Run along, Santa, I've no time for chit chat."
Then out walked the clone – Her own perfect twin,
Same hair, same eyes, same double chin.
"She'll cook, she'll dust, she'll mop every mess.
You'll relax, take it easy, watch The Young & The Restless."
"Fantastic!" the mom cheered. "My dream has come true!"
"I'll shop, I'll read, I'll sleep a night through!"
From the room above, the youngest did fret.
"Mommy?! Come quickly, I'm scared & I'm wet."
The clone replied, "I'm coming, sweetheart."
"Hey," the mom smiled, "She sure knows her part."
The clone changed the small one & hummed her tune,
as she bundled the child in a blanket cocoon. "You're the best mommy ever. I really love you."
The clone smiled & sighed, "And I love you, too."
The mom frowned & said, "Sorry, Santa, no deal."
That's my child's LOVE she is trying to steal."
Smiling wisely Santa said, "To me it is clear,
Only one loving mother is needed ‘round here."
The mom kissed her child & tucked her in bed.
"Thank You, Saint Nick, for clearing my head.
I sometimes forget, it won't be very long,
When they'll be too old for my cradle & song."
The clock on the mantle began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone, "It works every time."
With the clone by his side Santa said "Goodnight.
Merry Christmas, dear Mom, You know, you’re alright!"
That’s a true mother’s heart. And the text says that Rizpah stayed with the dead bodies of her sons "from beginning of harvest until it rained on them from the sky;..."Most commentators indicate this means from April to October. Verse 13 tells us the bones of the sons were buried, therefore it had to be a long time since only the bones were left.
Because Rizpah wanted to be a mother who kept vultures and wild beasts away, she goes down in history as a great example to all moms. Dedication makes a difference. Dedication eventually gets noticed. Verse 11 indicates David became aware of Rizpah's action. She wanted a burial for her sons but she never dreamed they would receive a royal burial. Her dedication was rewarded. David also cared for the remaining son, the lame Mephibosheth.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Mothers, how much time are you willing to give to the responsibility of Motherhood? How diligent, persistent and dedicated are you willing to be? Right now it may not be as you wish with your children. The final results are not in. Rizpah didn't succeed in a month or two, but her dedication led her onward. Mother, don't give up hope; continue to be dedicated to the ongoing task of Motherhood.
What was her name? It doesn’t matter. The best moms in the world may only be remembered by the few who gathered under their wings for a time. But for those few, the benefits are eternal, and so today we remember moms like that who have gone on before us. And if we’re privileged to still have her, we should honor her everyday! And some today will be called of God to BE that mom…and now they can answer His call!
Some of you here today are trying to be a Mother, but you don't have a relationship with Christ. We invite you to make a public commitment to Jesus. And kids, the greatest present you can give to your Mom is a Christian son or daughter. Make your decision as we extend the invitation.
[based on sermon by James McCullen]
What Was Her Name?
II Sam. 21: 5-14
I. Rizpah was a Mother of Example In Her D .
· She did not s her sons in their time of need.
· Real devotion will sometimes reveal itself in the form of ‘t l ’
II. Rizpah was a Mother of Example In Her D .
· She would make any p s necessary.
III. Rizpah was a Mother of Example In Her D .
· Dedication eventually gets n .
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