Summary: A mother will go to great lengths for her children and so will GOD!
I. G. Campbell Morgan, a profound British preacher whose four sons all became pastors, influenced millions with his preaching, teaching and writing.
One day, when his young son Howard finished preached, a reporter asked him, "Since you have five Pastors in your family who is the greatest preacher? Expecting the son to give the honor to his father, Howard surprised the reporter by saying, "My Mother!"
Often people do not realize that a mother’s love, concern and teaching are often far more influential on people than anything else. Never underestimate the power of love.
II. “Before becoming a mother I had a hundred theories on how to bring up children. Now I have seven children and only one theory: love them, especially when they least deserve to be loved.”
Kate Samperi, author
SOURCE: Celebrating Mothers: A Book of Appreciation
2 Samuel 3:7 Now Saul had had a concubine named Rizpah daughter of Aiah
2 Samuel 21:8-12, But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah’s daughter Rizpah, whom she had borne to Saul, together with the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab, [a] whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite. He handed them over to the Gibeonites, who killed and exposed them on a hill before the LORD. All seven of them fell together; they were put to death during the first days of the harvest, just as the barley harvest was beginning. 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 of the air touch them by day or the wild animals by night.
IV. Characteristics of Rizpah
A. concubine to Saul (had basically few rights and little power). [It rends the heart to read the story of Rizpah. She is one of the most tragic figures in the Bible. She was a concubine, a sexual slave. The one who laid claim to her was King Saul, a man of great power.]
B. mother of Armoni and Mephisbosheth (who were killed)
C. loved her sons and protected their bodies [But Rizpah did something amazing. Moved to action by her profound grief, she refused to remain merely a victim and spectator. Alone, in an act of defiance, the woman whose name means "glowing coal" went to the mountain, to the distorted, sun-scorched bodies of her beloved sons. She spread sackcloth on a rock, making herself a place that would be her home for five long months. She was a victim of the sins of others, but still she made a vigil with sackcloth, the symbol of penitence.]
D. wanted her sons to have a decent burial
E. she was persistent and had tenacity (she did not give up until when the going got tough). [What a vision she must have been, spread on that rock week after week, weary from grief and the task of protecting the sacred bodies that had been so dishonored. When vultures hovered near, she flailed her arms to scatter them. When wild beasts came with an appetite for decaying flesh, she drove them away with rocks and shouts. In the stifling heat of the day and the chilling air of night, she remained, quivering with fatigue and perhaps fear. Some people probably applauded the courage of this devoted mother. Others must have thought she was mad. They praised or pitied or mocked her. But she never gave up.]
F. showed great courage
G. her faithfulness was rewarded and she could finally rest
2 Samuel 21:10-14 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. 11 When David learned what Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, had done, 12 he went to the people of Jabesh-gilead and retrieved the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan. (When the Philistines had killed Saul and Jonathan on Mount Gilboa, the people of Jabesh-gilead stole their bodies from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hung them.) 13 So David obtained the bones of Saul and Jonathan, as well as the bones of the men the Gibeonites had executed. 14 Then the king ordered that they bury the bones in the tomb of Kish, Saul’s father, at the town of Zela in the land of Benjamin. After that, God ended the famine in the land.
[King David was so moved by her perseverance that he gathered up the bones of Saul, his son Jonathan, and those over whom Rizpah had kept watch. Left in a state of dishonor for so long, the bones of David’s rival and his kin were finally buried with honor.]