Summary: This is a Mother's Day message that encourages mothers to work hard at their calling to raise their children.
RIZPAH, A MOTHER WHO STOOD HER GROUND
TEXT: 2 Samuel 21:10
2 Samuel 21:10 KJV And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.
I. INTRODUCTION—THE BALTIMORE MOTHER WHO WAS VIGILANT
On April 28, 2015 when the riots in Baltimore, Maryland were still in action over the Freddie Gray situation, one mother set herself apart from a host of others because she decided to stand her ground. Her sixteen year old son was in a crowd of rioters throwing rocks at the Baltimore police. Toya Graham ran up when she recognized her son and jerked him by the arm and physically removed him from the rock throwers. She jerked him by the arm all the while giving him open-handed slaps to his head. Her challenge was that he had on a hoodie and a facemask to hide his identity. She ended up running him across an area of 25-30 yards all the while pulling his hoodie off, snatching the facemask off, cuffing him about the ears and giving him a tongue-lashing that only a mother could give to a wayward son. What Toya Graham did not know was that someone was videoing the whole affair on an iPhone and it got uploaded to YouTube and the video went viral. Several news agencies picked it up and in a little more than a day, it was covered by all of the major networks.
She downplayed her role a bit and said she was just being a parent and was very frustrated and embarrassed that her son would even be involved in rioting against the police in Baltimore. During several of the interviews she expressed the need for her to be a strong disciplinarian in her home because she was a single parent. Later her son was interviewed and he admitted that he should not have been involved and that he was now thankful that his mother had embarrassed him in front of the world because she wanted to protect him from the bad influences he had gotten caught up with.
-She was a mother who was willing to stand her ground. While there is no way to know all the dynamics about that situation we can be safe to say that more mothers ought to be willing to do what she did to discipline their children.
Anonymous—An ounce of mother is worth a pound of preacher.
II. THE BACKGROUND OF THE TEXT
A. Tragedies In the Bible
-This story is one of the tragedies in the Bible. While it is not one that we often think of when we think of tragedies in the Bible, it fits into the category of them. When I think of tragedies from the pages of the Word, my mind generally is drawn to those men or women who made poor choices over spiritual matters.
• Balaam—Wished for God’s approval AND Balak’s money (Numbers 23:10)
• Ananias—Wished for God’s approval AND the church’s approval with his lies (Acts 5:3-5)
• Simon Magus—Wished for God’s power AND his own ability to buy it (Acts 8:19)
• Diotrephes—Wished for God’s power AND to control the church (3 John 9)
• Demas—Wished for Paul’s brotherhood AND longed to love the world (2 Tim. 4:10)
• The Foolish Builder—Wished for earthly security on a shaky foundation AND spiritual success (Matt. 7:26)
-All of these situations turned out bad because they made poor choices. Rizpah’s situation had a bit of a different twist on it.
B. Saul and the Gibeonites
-2 Samuel 21 gives us some details concerning the background of Rizpah’s life. On this hill seven young men have been hanged by the Gibeonites because of what their father had been involved in.
-David is now the king and there has been a famine which is leading to great problems for Israel. David inquires of the Lord as to why they are having these problems. The Lord answers and tells him because of Saul’s murder of the Gibeonites (2 Samuel 21:1).
-A covenant had been made 400 years earlier in the times of Joshua. Without spiritual guidance, Joshua makes an alliance with the Gibeonites who had disguised themselves as foreigners. For Israel to break that covenant it would have been a very serious offense (Numbers 30:1-2). Joshua knew that and would not break it (Josh. 9:18-21).
-So when Saul comes along, he makes a determination that he will massacre them and that is what he did. Once the Lord brings this to David’s attention, he sets about to make right what had been done wrong.
-The Gibeonites do not want money, release from servitude as drawers of water and hewers of timber, but they do want a measure of vengeance. Some scholars believe that these young men had been involved in the murder of their (Gibeonites) kin and therefore wanted them to be brought to justice.