“I’M EVERY WOMAN!”
2 Samuel 21:10 – “Then Rizpah daughter of Aiah, the mother of two of the men, spread burlap on a rock and stayed there the entire harvest season. She prevented the scavenger birds from tearing at their bodies during the day and stopped wild animals from eating them at night.”
Are there any God-fearing, child-loving mothers who will muster up some compassion, courage and commitment to protect her child/ren from injustice, and protect them from harm and danger? How many times have you picked up a newspaper, seen an amber alert on your phone, or read a newsflash that scrolled across your television screen about a mother who courageously performed an heroic act to save the lives of her children who was in harm’s way?
Today’s narrative is about a woman named Rizpah and her sacrificial act of love for her two sons. Rizpah’s name means “a hot or baking stone.” She was a daughter of Aiah, or Ajah, the Horite. Saul took her as a concubine and she bore him, Armoni and Ephibosheth. Among all the heart-moving episodes in the bible, none is so compelling and touching as the story of Rizpah and her care of the dead. She was a victim of vengeance, a defender of the dead, and she typified the gloom of Golgotha.
BE COMPASSIONATE: In (verses 1-9), David ends a drought by granting justice to the Gibeonites. They ask for seven of Saul’s sons so that they can put them to death before the Lord. Seeking to spare Jonathan’s house in honor of their covenant, David takes the two sons of Rizpah and five sons of Merob and hands them over to the Gibeonites who puts them to a gruesome death. This is where Rizpah actively enters the story … Rizpah is so moved by compassion that she is willing to do whatever needs to be done to alleviate their shame and suffering. Not only does she care about her two sons, but she extends compassion for the other five boys.
BE COURAGEOUS: The word “courage” is defined as: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear. All day and all night, for five solid months the bible says, from barley harvest – that’s about late April to the early rains in the month of October, Rizpah sits like a sentinel on watch lest a claw or a paw be laid upon the faces of her sons who once nestled to her breast. Can you see her as she flaps and squeals, driving away vultures and ravens? At night she is haunted in the dark by the glowing eyes of savage beasts, perhaps in desperation she has to reach for a flaming brand in the campfire to scare them away. Was she afraid to close her eyes lest in sleep the scavengers that were circling overhead dive for their prey? Unequivocally/absolutely!
BE COMMITTED: Rizpah was fully committed. Notice if you will, she makes no attempt to cut down these bodies. Yet she is still there, she is still mourning, she is still loving, she is still praying and interceding, she is still mediating. Rizpah was able to keep her commitment through this ordeal through a love that was expressed in devotion, which manifested itself in determination. All of her compassion, courage, and commitment paid off! When word reaches king David of Rizpah’s behavior, David responds by gathering the bones of Saul and Jonathan and then the bones of those recently put to death and buries them in the ancestral tomb of Saul’s father, Kish. After that, God heeded supplications for the land. If you want to be an agent of change in the world, be Every Woman: Compassionate, Courageous and Committed!
BBlessed and Let Love Abound!