2 Samuel 21:1-14 (Part 3) – Oh, A Mother’s Love!

Posted: August 23, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel

2 Samuel 21:1-14 (Part 3 of 3)
David Avenges the Gibeonites

Oh a mother’s love! It is a love without end. It is an enduring love. It is a steadfast love. My mom will have been dead for 8 years this coming November 17th. I hate to admit that I do not think of her as often as I should. My life is pretty busy right now with church and school so I barely have time to reminisce about the past with the present so occupying my limited mental faculties. However, when I do think of my mom, I think of how she loved me.

My mom loved me no matter what. She was my biggest fan. Just by the nature of personalities, I guess, my brother was and is more close to my dad than I. Conversely, I was closer to my mom than my brother was. My brother and my mom just always seemed to be at odds. She loved him no less than she did me. She was no less proud of him than me. She would take a bullet for him no less than me. However, to say they were close would be a matter of degree in comparison to my closeness with her. My mom, as we grew into middle aged men, would just grate on my brother’s nerves.

My brother is no walk in the park, mind you. He is opinionated. He is brilliant. He has an eidetic memory. He can remember obscure facts with ease on a multiplicity of subjects. All of those things are great but he must dominate conversations to the nth degree and must always demonstrate just how brilliant he is. I love my brother immensely. Some people just don’t get him. But because he is my brother for eternity, I get him. I understand him. And I love him anyway! LOL! So, when his personality and my mom’s all-up-in-your-business personality meet, there was always a tenseness and sometimes even conflict.

My relationship with mom was different. I am more of a subtle personality than my brother. I may not be as smart as my brother but I am pretty intelligent. I can match my brother in academics but I just have to work a lot harder at than he does. Because of my more low-key, come-what-may personality, my mom and I were very close. The thing I love about my mom still to this day is the fact that she just loved me. There was a comfort in that. No matter how bad things got in my life – even the messes that I created for myself – she loved me. I miss having her around. She was my biggest fan. Sure, she would tell me when I did something wrong but it was never condemning. I always felt safe in my mother’s love. She just thought I was the cat’s meow. She would be oh so proud now that I have finally followed God’s call on my life into full-time ministry. She had begun to love Elena before she got sick and passed away. I am sure they would have been as thick as thieves now if she had been living these past 7 ¾ years. She was lukewarm about the other women in my life over the years but Elena was the one in her eyes. The one that she thought was best for me. I miss having my mom around for those unanticipated 40 minute phone calls that you would have to be somewhat rude to end. I wish for my mother’s presence in my life now. I miss her being all-up-in-my-business.

That idea of a mother’s love and how it is symbolic of God’s love for us is what I thought of this morning as I read this passage for the third and final time before we move on. Let’s read the passage, 2 Samuel 21:1-14, now, and what Rizpah’s love and devotion to her sons even in their death:

Chapter 21
1 There was a famine during David’s reign that lasted for three years, so David asked the Lord about it. And the Lord said, “The famine has come because Saul and his family are guilty of murdering the Gibeonites.”

2 So the king summoned the Gibeonites. They were not part of Israel but were all that was left of the nation of the Amorites. The people of Israel had sworn not to kill them, but Saul, in his zeal for Israel and Judah, had tried to wipe them out. 3 David asked them, “What can I do for you? How can I make amends so that you will bless the Lord’s people again?”

4 “Well, money can’t settle this matter between us and the family of Saul,” the Gibeonites replied. “Neither can we demand the life of anyone in Israel.”

“What can I do then?” David asked. “Just tell me and I will do it for you.”

5 Then they replied, “It was Saul who planned to destroy us, to keep us from having any place at all in the territory of Israel. 6 So let seven of Saul’s sons be handed over to us, and we will execute them before the Lord at Gibeon, on the mountain of the Lord.[a]”

“All right,” the king said, “I will do it.” 7 The king spared Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth,[b] who was Saul’s grandson, because of the oath David and Jonathan had sworn before the Lord. 8 But he gave them Saul’s two sons Armoni and Mephibosheth, whose mother was Rizpah daughter of Aiah. He also gave them the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab,[c] the wife of Adriel son of Barzillai from Meholah. 9 The men of Gibeon executed them on the mountain before the Lord. So all seven of them died together at the beginning of the barley harvest.

10 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.

In this passage, we see that Rizpah’s actions here are symbolic of our relationship with God. For those that the Spirit is drawing near, God is our defender. In our state of death in our sin, we are not aware of God’s protection of us from the ravages of sin. Like Rizpah fending off the vultures and wild animals from her dead sons’ bodies (they in their death do not know of her actions), God is fending off Satan’s vultures from us until we recognize His presence in our lives. He is faithful to us even when we are dead in our sins and do not recognize His actions in our lives. For those who are already one of His children, He is still our defender in the spiritual realm. We are often unaware of the demonic forces that are trying to attack us daily. He defends us with His wrath against Satan and his minions. He also defends us through the Word of God. In our human temporal state, we must have God’s Word as a defense against our own fleshly, sinful nature. We sometimes do not even recognize our sins until we are convicted by His Word. Rizpah is therefore symbolic of God’s defense of us against evil and sin.
A mother’s love is unconditional in good times and bad, happy or sad. They just love their kids no matter what. They gave birth to us and nursed us. There is just something about that whole process that sears a child into a mother’s heart. God loves us the same way. Never forget that. He is not sitting around waiting to see how He can crush you. Rather, He loves you so dearly that He sacrificed His Son on the cross so that you could come into His presence without blemish. In this, we see the qualities of a mother’s love for her son – always waiting, always defending, always hoping, and waiting with open arms.
Amen and Amen.

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