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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

A Mother’s Love



2 Samuel 21:9-14

Verse 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.

 

    David had given the Gibeonites the men who would satisfy their desire of retribution and was pleased with how well his choices had satisfied the men who had been wronged.  Though both sides seemed pleased with the results of the exchange there was one person who was most broken by the whole ordeal.  Rizpah had been one of King Saul’s concubines, the one who Saul’s son Ishbosheth had accused Abner of having a relationship with.

 

    This woman had two sons by Saul and that is why they were among the men offered for payment for what Saul had done to the Gibeonites.  Like any mother she was devastated by what her sons were being given to do.  She had known Saul, she likely knew the type of man he was and would have had doubt he had done an awful thing to the people of Gibeon, but did her sons have to pay the price?  How could a mother stand by and let this happen to her two sons?

 

    She had no choice really.  She couldn’t speak up to the king and tell him he was doing the wrong thing.  Her children were the offspring of the offending party after all, but that didn’t make it any easier to accept.  Her poor boys.  They were having to pay the price for their father.  They weren’t given the choice but they had a duty to perform.  Rizpah couldn’t save them but she wasn’t going to allow them to become meals for the scavengers of the air and night.

 

    David eventually heard what the woman was doing and in a kind, kingly gesture he not only gathered the bones of the men who had stood in for Saul’s infraction but also the bones of King Saul and Jonathan from where they were being stored after they were rescued from their public humiliation in Philistine territory.  After gathering all the bones of Saul and his descendants, David buried them in the Kish family tomb.

 

    Whether David did the large scale burial because of the image of the grieving mother or because he realized it was time to fully put the dynasty to rest, honoring his friend in a way which was long overdue, the king went to great lengths to make it happen.  Rizpah was able to grieve her sons in a way which honored them and would start the healing in any mom’s heart.

 

Making It Personal

    When have you felt like you were paying the price for someone else’s sin?  Did you accept it willingly?  Have you ever comforted someone who was suffering because of someone’s choices?

 

Making It Personal Kids

    How would you feel if your friend had to pay the penalty of another person?  How would you comfort that friend?  Has a friend ever comforted you?

 

Closing Prayer

    Father, thank You for standing with us in our grief.  Give us eyes to see others who are struggling with grief and give us hearts of compassion for them.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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