II Samuel 21
During Saul’s reign, he put many of the Gibeonites to death. Not because the Lord told him to, but because of his eagerness to please the people. In doing so, we will see how a generational curse can manifest due to disobedience of one person in a family and can cause destruction to the following generations.
During King David’s reign, there was a famine in the land for three years. When David inquired to the Lord, it was revealed that the situation was an outcome of Saul’s actions towards the Gibeonites. Joshua promised them that they would be spared (Joshua 9); but Saul didn’t honor that oath.
David consulted with the Gibeonites and asked how he could compensate for their loss. They didn’t want silver or gold and didn’t want to cause any bloodshed for the Israelites. They just wanted seven men of Saul’s household.
II Samuel 21:6 (AMP)
Let seven men of his sons be delivered to us and we will hang them up before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul, [on the mountain] of the Lord. And the king said, I will give them.
And so the request was granted. The two sons of Rizpah along with five more in the family were chosen. David spared Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, because of the oath that was made between Jonathan and David. David knew the importance of keeping promises and honoring oaths.
II Samuel 21:8-10 (AMP)
8But the king took the two sons of Rizpah daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth… 9He delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hung them up on the hill before the Lord, and all seven perished together. They were put to death in the first days of barley harvest.10Rizpah daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until rain fell on them, and she did not allow either the birds of the air to come upon them by day or the beasts of the field by night.
Rizpah lost everything; she was Saul’s concubine and her two sons were given for an atonement of Saul’s disobedience. She had no one to take care of her financially, physically, and emotionally. Her heart crumbling as she faced devastation within herself. Imagine the sorrow she felt as she saw her two sons taken away, and hung on the hill.
There may have been some time in our life where we felt as Rizpah did. Maybe not to the magnitude and harshness as her own experience; but to have felt that all was lost. All support systems that we’ve built for ourselves come crumbling down as we try to grab and take hold of something. To find ourselves with nothing in our reach and left alone with what is left before us.
Rizpah loves her sons dearly just as any mother loves their children. She doesn’t walk away from the gruesome scene and goes her own way. She stays by her sons’ side and doesn’t allow the birds or beasts come upon them.
We, too, have a choice to stay bitter and full of sorrow that we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to heal and grow. Rizpah stayed by their side for months making sure her sons were not eaten away by the fouls of the world. She fought back with the last strength, energy, and fire she had left. Even if it was a little spark left; she fought with all of her might. She watched as her two sons deteriorated as each day went by. She stayed faithful to her cause; fighting the animals and protecting her children. How much more will God fight and protect us?
Imagine how exhausted she was and no one came to help her. She was going through this process all by herself. Her dedication and faithfulness finally was being honored as someone took note of her and alerted King David.
His heart was touched and he proceeded to get the bones of Jonathan and Saul from the men of Jabesh-gilead and those who were hung on the hill. Rizpah is finally able to put her sons to rest, properly, and move on with her life.
We all have scars from the past but like Rizpah, she stayed strong during the process not giving up. She was quiet and busy watching over her children until honor was due to her. We have to work in that same momentum. God is always watching and He takes note of what we do. He will give honor where honor is due!