With Mother’s Day just a few days away, I am led to think of the wonderful and strong women of the Bible. The hardship and stress they each faced, seems unbearable. Songs are made of Sarah and Hagar, poems and declarations are made about Mary, the mother of Jesus. But today, I’d like to take a glimpse into the life of Rizpah.
To teach Saul a lesson, David ordered seven of Saul’s descendants to be killed. This stemmed from his evil behavior toward the Gibeonites. Rizpah lost two of her sons in this killing. Their names were Armoni and Mephibosheth. She had these sons with Saul.
Rizpah mourned heavily for her sons. She laid down a sackcloth near the spot where their bodies were placed, and remained there from the first harvest to the first rain storm. She kept a watchful eye to make sure birds and other animals did not vandalize the bodies of her loved ones.
The author continues to tell us that David heard of her mourning and went to where she was, and took the bones of the deceased bodies. God then gave favor to the land once again (2 Samuel 21:8-12).
When someone leaves us whether by a broken relationship or death, we all try to seek closure. We may also question why this happened, as we try to find peace. Rizpah did not have anyone to talk to, she didn’t have a husband or a close friend; therefore, her time of lonely mourning may have been quite difficult, accompanied by many sleepless nights.
The sins of the father, Saul, affected his sons and descendants, but God knew that Rizpah was not to blame. He kept her safe during her 6 months of living in the wilderness. And, it’s through Rizpah’s persistence that the drought finally ended. If she had just decided to leave her place of mourning and simply give up, David would not have known of her diligence. His taking of the bones of her sons, and burying them, quenched the land once again.
No matter what we are going through, remember that our Lord knows and he cares for us. He understands our hearts, and hears our calls. He made us to be mothers, and to be gentle beings. He adores our feminine nature, which is often needed to soften our sometimes harsh world. And, he hurts when we hurt, our pain as well as our happiness, are always significant to him.
May you have a beautiful Mother’s Day and joy-filled May, 2019!