Summary: A Mother Of Example- Rizpah

II Samuel 21:1-13

A Mother Of Example

A young preacher was preparing to preach his very first

sermon. Knowing that it was his first sermon, he wanted it to hit a home run and wanted to have a smashing introduction to set it off. He went to an older pastor, and asked him if he had a great introduction guaranteed to grab everyone’s attention.

The pastor did, and said, "Son, I have an illustration that works every single time. I have used it for years, and it is guaranteed to work. When you get into the pulpit, make this statement, ‘Some of the greatest days of my life I spent in the arms of another man’s wife.’ Then, wait a moment, and say, ‘My mother!’" He went on to say, "Remember, don’t forget to pause for a moment, and whatever you do, don’t forget to say, ‘My mother!’"

Finally, the Sunday came that the young man was to preach. He walked into the pulpit with two problems; one, he was scared to ; and, two, he had forgot to tell his wife what he was going to open his sermon with. So, the young preacher cleared his throat, confident of his smashing introduction and said, "Some of the greatest days of my life I spent in the arms of another man’s wife." He waited for a moment; but about that time, his wife, who was a hot-tempered lady, got up out of her seat and headed toward the pulpit.

Alarmed by the fact that his wife was walking toward the platform, he forgot the words he was told not to forget. So he said it again hoping this time he could remember the punch line. "Some of the greatest days of my life I have spent in the arms of another man’s wife." He paused and panic-stricken said, "And, for the life of me, I can’t remember who that woman was!"

Well, I trust that on Mother’s Day or any day, you have

no problem remembering and recognizing your mother.

In an article in the Detroit Free Press, Bob Greene cited a study on the monetary value of a mother’s services in the home. First, he listed the various duties she performs: chauffeur, gardener, family counselor, maintenance worker, cleaning woman, housekeeper, cook, errand runner, bookkeeper, budget manager, interior decorator, caterer, dietician, secretary, public relations person and hostess.

Using this impressive list of household duties, he figured the dollar value of a mother’s work in today’s (2007) labor market. He came up with an amount of $915.07 a week, or $47,583.64 a year. I’m sure that many of you mothers feel extremely underpaid.

Abraham Lincoln once said: "Behind every great man, is a great mother!"

A little boy who was once told by his mother that it was God who makes people good, replied, "Yes I know it is God, but mothers help a lot."

I want to preach about one of the great texts of a mother that is often forgotten in the Scripture. Most of us have never heard of her. We know of Mary, Elizabeth, Rachel, Rebekah, Hannah, Ruth, and Naomi; however, our text gives us another mother worthy of our examination.

Her name is Rizpah.

We find her II Samuel 21.

Famine had come to the land of Israel and David inquired of the Lord for the reason. The Lord revealed the actions of Saul toward the Gibeonites was the cause of the famine.

Israel had made a covenant with the Gibeonites years before but Saul breaks the covenant. As a result, God is displeased with Israel.

David approaches the Gibeonites to find out how he can make things right. The Gibeonites request that seven sons of Saul be hanged.

The seven men slain for Saul’s offence against the Gibeonites included the two sons of Rizpah, the concubine of Saul and the five sons of Merab, Saul’s eldest daughter.

In verse 10 we are confronted with one of the most affecting narratives in the Bible. It is the solitary vigil that Rizpah keeps as she watches with a mother’s love over the bodies of her two sons.

The of Rizpah’s two sons left her a childless widow, a terribly vulnerable position for some women in ancient times. Yet, rather than mourn for herself, she set out to guard the remains of her two sons.

Rizpah could do nothing to save them, but she was determined to do what little she could to save them from the ultimate disgrace - with no burial. Her actions won for her sons an honorable burial.

It was the law, of that day, that anyone put to , under these circumstances could not be buried. They had to hang there until the vultures picked them clean, or the beasts tore them down; HOWEVER, Rizpah was determined her sons were going to have an honorable burial.

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Jerry Shirley

commented on May 12, 2007

Great sermon. What a mother's heart she had. It should be no surprise then why she later became surrogate mother to a special needs child mentioned in the text, the 'spared' Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan. You don't have to be the biological parent to make all the difference for one who needs love!

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