Therefore my heart rejoiced and my tongue exulted exceedingly; moreover, my flesh also will dwell in hope [will encamp, pitch its tent, and dwell in hope For You will not abandon my soul, leaving it helpless in Hades (the state of departed spirits), nor let Your Holy One know decay or see destruction [of the body after death].
We meet Rizpah in 2 Samuel 3:7, where she is falsely accused of fornication. She had lived in the palace, as King Saul’s concubine, prior to his death, but now the grapevine has linked her to a relationship with Abner, Israel’s Commander of the Army.
We can imagine that Rizpah’s name was not well spoken of in the palace.
No…honor had not been bestowed upon her…like that of a widowed wife, left to mourn her deceased husband and king.
Rizpah had not been given a position of authority, like the ‘queen mom,’ or the mother to the king’s reigning son.
Now, although Rizpah had born Saul sons, her two sons were not rightful heirs to the throne.
Rizpah was but a widowed concubine, spoken about in rumors and conjecture. But God would use this woman, and the attacks upon her name, for her good, and also for the good of the kingdom.
God would take this ‘palace’ gossip and use it rent the kingdom from Saul’s son Ishbosheth, and He would further cause it to unite the two warring kingdoms under David, His anointed.
Now back to this gossip in the palace…
Saul’s son, Ishbosheth had assumed the throne after Saul and his brother, Jonathan’s death.
Now Having heard the gossip in the palace, Ishbosheth confronted Abner, who was quite offended after having shown much love and devotion to the house of Saul for so many years.
In his offense, Abner withdrew his support from Ishbosheth, and vowed to go over to David and translate or to transfer the entirety of the kingdom into the hands of David, who currently sat on the throne in Hebron.
I’m sure these rumors and innuendo were hurtful to Rizpah, but God used these things for the greater good of Rizpah and for all of Israel.
Now we don’t hear anything more about Rizphah until 2 Samuel 21:8, where once again God uses Rizpah and her two sons (as a sacrifice) to bring complete closure to Saul’s bloody reign, and to atone for Saul’s transgressions against the Lord.
Now Rizpah’s name and her reputation had previously been attacked within the palace, but now there was an assault upon the names and the lives of her two children.
Sadly, Rizpah’s two sons were taken and executed, because they were the surviving male descendants of Saul.
Armoni and Mephibosheth were King Saul’s only two remaining sons, as Ishbosheth had recently been ruthlessly slain inside the palace.
What could Rizpah have said or done when King David came to take away her sons??
She had been but a widowed concubine, but now she would be both widowed and left childless!!
Why had the king come for her sons??
Had David come in violence, to remove any future threats to the surety of his throne??
No, of course not!!
You see, God was displeased with Israel and his hand had been heavy upon His chosen people for three years.
In His wrath, God had brought famine and drought upon the land, and it seemed that He would not be appeased until the blood of treason was washed from the land!!
Who was the traitor??
David inquired of the Lord…and God said it was Saul!!
Saul had treacherously defied a peace treaty established before the Lord, between Joshua and the Gibeonites, a remnant of the Amorites.
David had gone forward offering gold and silver, in attempts to atone for Israel’s trespass upon the Gibeonites, but they refused, and would not accept meaningless tokens from the Bloody House of Saul!!
The Gibeonites proposed Life for Life and Blood for Blood!!
You see, Saul had attempted to wipe out and/or annihilate all of the Gibeonites from the land of Israel, in direct opposition to Joshua’s peace agreement.
Now David, as king and ambassador was required to restore peace amongst the people in the land, so he agreed to the terms laid out by the Gibeonites.
Therefore, David delivered up Rizpah’s two sons, Armoni and Mephibosheth, (not Jonathan’s son) along with five of Saul’s grandsons, born of his daughter, Merab!!
These seven male descendants of Saul hung accursed, like criminals at the beginning of the barley harvest, and so they would continue to hang until the Lord’s anger was appeased with a sign of rain!!
Where was Merab, Saul’s daughter and mother to Saul’s five grandsons??
We are not told!!
But we are told that Rizpah humbly pitched her tent before the Lord upon the mountain, as she watched and waited for the rain!!
In her grief, Rizpah humbly spread out her sackcloth upon the rocks, from the very day her sons were hung, until the day God’s anger relented!!
Rizpah bore the suffocating winds, the oppressive heat, and the blazing sun, day after day…
She fought against sleep, exhaustion, and suppressed her fear of the darkness, at night…
She fought off the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field, making every attempt to prevent these scavengers from eating and further defiling the flesh and remains of her sons.
All the while, Rizpah was praying, watching, waiting, and believing that the Lord would send cleansing rain to wash away, and remove the stains of dishonor that had fallen upon her sons in death.
When Rizpah’s name was mentioned in the palace, and David was told the tale of Rizpah’s courage, David’s heart was moved by this grieving mother’s love and devotion to her deceased sons!!
Rizpah had gained the respect of the king and David further honored Rizpah by gathering up the bones of both Saul and his Beloved friend, Jonathan…bringing together all of the remains of Saul and all of Saul’s deceased heirs, inclusive of the concubine’s two sons, Armoni and Mephibosheth.
David honored these two king’s sons with an honorable burial, in Saul’s ancestral tomb in the Land of Benjamin.
At Last, God’s anger was appeased and the three year famine had come to an end!!
And not only did God lift the curse from upon the land, but He also removed the curse from Rizpah’s sons in death, burying them with honor, like the rightful heirs of a king!!
God accepted Rizpah’s sacrifice, as she pitched her tent on the rock of hope, waiting and believing that God, in his great mercy, would send both rain and answers to his people’s prayers in Israel once again!!
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God Loves💕You and So Do I!!