Summary: Sometimes we equate motherhood with simple devotion. But the Bible tells us it’s more.
One person wrote it this way;
"A godly mother will point her children to God by the force of their example
as much as by the power of their words." -- Croft M. Penze
The situation in the American home is acute, no doubt about that
Did you realize that only 7% of the people in the US live in a traditional family?
Traditional family meaning: Father is the bread winner -Mother is a home maker
Motherhood has taken a bad rap over the years.
It is portrayed as anti-intellectual and anti-quated
When Hillary Clinton was visibly involved in the political scene in the 1990’s she quipped;
What do you want me to do stay at home and bake cookies and have tea.
What an affront to this thing we call Motherhood
But what does Motherhood mean to you?
This morning, I really do want us to concentrate on our mothers, however, I want to offer some admonitions to our thinking and our definition of MOTHERHOOD
I’d like to do by;
First - Telling a little-known story from the Old Testament
Second, Raising a necessary question.
And Third - Issue a meaningful challenge from the New Testament.
I. The Story
How many know the name Rizpah?
She’s not as well-known as Mary, Martha in the NT
Nor as well-known as Sarh, Rebecca, Miriam, Rachel, Deborah in the OT.
Rizpah, you’ll find her name in II Samuel 21
I’ll tell you her story if you want to follow, that’s fine.
The story starts with King David, not Rizpah.
King Saul was dead and David has been reigning on the throne.
There was a famine in Israel for 3 years.
David sought the Lord as to WHY.
God said to David, It’s because of the bloody hands of King Saul. He has killed the Gibeonites¨
The Gibeonites, in Joshua’s day, had entered into a covenant with Israel and King Saul broke that covenant.
When God’s people make a promise or covenant they are expected to keep it because promises are sacred to God.
And because of that covenant God promised that those people would be spared----- instead they were put to death - by King Saul
So now, King David asked the Gibeonites how the Israelites could make atonement for this drastic incident.
The Gibeonites said, "We don’t want any money, we would never take anything from the household of Saul."
Verse 4 David said, "I will do for you, whatever you say."
So they came back and asked for the 7 sons of Saul. (Actually grandsons)
These were the remaining heirs of Saul’s household.
Not all of the sons were born of the same woman;
5 sons to Merab and 2 sons of Rizpah.
Now those 7 sons were to be taken and executed
Openly, In the mountain of the Lord
Publicly, So that ALL could see what happens to
Shamefully, so all could witness a father who blatantly sinned against the Lord.
Take heed fathers you always reap what you sow.
So here they are, publicly shamed before the people.
Hanging there on a Gibbet or cross their remains exposed.
Verse 10 It’s only one little verse that’s all it is but it tells of one of the greatest stories of devotion you’re ever going to hear. Just one little verse.
Rizpah came to Gibea and brought her sack clothe and stretched it out on a rock. It doesn’t say HOW she used it
-A tent for covering
-Shelter from the dew
-A shield from the heat
But there she was, and there she was going to stay
from the beginning of the harvest until the rains came.
"She didn’t allow the vultures to come by day or the beast by night."
Here’s the picture: Verse 10 says that these men were put to death at the beginning of the Barley harvest.
And this mother did not leave their remains until the
It’s a long time from May to September.
You see, the Barley harvest begins in May and the rains come in September or even October.
5 months; from 1 woman - out of a devotion we call Motherhood.
Nothing is going to defile the bodies of her sons,
Rizpah was certainly a devoted mother wouldn’t you say?
What would it be like to scare away the vultures? Repulsive
Imagine being all by yourself.
From one gibbet to the next - then to the next,
Trying to find some rest -You drop from exhaustion.
But still you must keep on.
Just when you think you’re going to get a moments rest you hear scratching.
And from the glow of the fire you see their beady eyes staring at you through the dark. You fight sleep knowing that you dare not drift off or else they’ll come again.