The story captivated me! Only a few words in the middle of a much bigger story yet such love displayed by a mother for her children! As a mother I feel her grief and her desperation! Her story is told in 2 Samuel 21 when David was king.
There was a famine in the land for three years and David went before the Lord to ask the reason. The Lord told him it was because of the treachery of Saul, who had not kept a previous covenant with the Gibeonites but had them killed instead.
Israel had not checked with the Lord first but had believed the Gibeonite’s fraudulent story that they were from a distant land and they had made a treaty with them to let them live. However Saul had later decided to kill them in spite of the former treaty.
When David called the Gibeonites and asked how they could make atonement for the wrong that had been done to them, they answered that they wanted to be given seven of Saul’s sons whose lives they would take by hanging them in Gibeah.
David complied with their request and the five sons of Saul’s daughter, Merab as well as the two sons of Rizpah, Saul’s concubine were given into the hands of the Gibeonites. They hanged them in the mountain, the seven all together!
It was the first days of the barley harvest, probably in April and Rizpah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock near where her sons bodies were hanging. They were not supposed to hang overnight but no one bothered to take them down.
Day and night Rizpah kept watch and fought off the vultures and the wild beasts of the field! “She allowed neither the birds of the sky to rest on them by day nor the beasts of the field by night.” She never once considered her own comfort or safety!
She did this “from the beginning of harvest until it rained on them from the sky.” The rain would come in October so from April to October, five or six months, she kept the birds and the beasts away from her children’s bodies!
Such fierce love for her children is hard to comprehend! Every day she did not allow the birds to rest on them and every night she drove the wild beasts away! We are not told how! What were her weapons; sticks, stones, a slingshot, bow & arrows?
We are not told anything much about Rizpah but we can see that she was a woman of great courage. Was she a woman of prayer? Did she pray for her own skill and safety? When did she rest and did her fierce love for her sons give her strength to go on?
The story of Rizpah is a wonderful analogy of fighting for your family in prayer. There is a battle raging for the minds, and souls of our children. As a society we seem to be helpless to stop the downward spiral of moral degradation and even anarchy.
The tenacity of this mother’s love speaks to me of fighting for your family in this spiritual warfare. This mother couldn’t bring her children back to life but she would not give them up to utter destruction. She would not let go or give up in their defence!
God and any Christian moral compass has been taken out of the education and the world’s system. 2 Corinthians 4:4 says “the god of this world (the devil & his realm) has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of Christ.”
Beasts work in the darkness trying to catch those who are unaware. 1 Peter 5:8 -9 “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith-,”
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God -” We do this through prayer!
The devil wants to destroy our children’s beliefs , their sense of right and wrong. He wants to bring confusion into their minds. Like a vulture he tries to attack their hearts through gender confusion, pornography, movies or even through computer games.
As Rizpah spread the sackcloth of mourning on the rock, so we can only fight, on our knees, those things that would destroy our families. James 4:7 “Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” We submit them to God’s watchful care and through fervent prayer, on their behalf, we resist the evil that would destroy them!