For Ladies - Rizpah


Pat Jones

Satan's most deadly attack is being waged against motherhood. He attempts to discourage mothers from fulfilling the greatest and most rewarding work they can do. I am always impressed with the mothers who bring their babies and small children to gospel meetings, congregational sings, and ladies' days. It is very obvious these young mothers are motivated by a love for God and a devotion to their children.

We have many examples of faithful mothers recorded in the Bible, but, when the term "devotion" is used, I cannot help but think of Rizpah. Rizpah is a little known character in the Old Testament. Many lessons can be gleaned from this courageous woman, but I would like to focus on the devotion she had for her two sons.

We read of Rizpah in 2 Samuel. At the beginning of chapter 21, we find the land plagued with a three-year famine. David realized the plague would continue until he made things right with the Gibeonites, whom Saul had tried to drive from the land years before. The Gibeonites requested seven descendents of Saul be handed over to them. David granted the request, and the Gibeonites killed these men and left their bodies on the mountain. According to verse 8, two of these men were the sons of Rizpah.

Beginning in verse 10, we read of the devotion of Rizpah to her sons. "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." Rizpah mourned for her sons day and night. She spread sackcloth upon a rock and was vigilant in her quest to keep the birds of the air and wild animals away from the bodies. Rizpah sat by the bodies from the beginning of the barley harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, which was probably several months later.

In verse 11, we find David hearing of Rizpah's courageous actions. He was so touched by her devotion that he ordered the bodies removed from the mountain and buried in the sepulchre of Kish, the father of Saul.

May we ever enjoy the blessing of motherhood, giving time and attention to both the physical and spiritual growth of our children. May we, as mothers, continue to grow spiritually, asking for patience and understanding, as we have opportunities to make wise choices and decisions in our God-given roles.

As we strive to leave a lasting influence on our children, may we ever remember the genuineness of Rizpah's love, courage, and devotion to hers. Rt. 1, Box 109-A, Rivesville, WV 26588.


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