Rizpah. Ever heard of her?
She’s currently my favorite person. You can find her in 2 Samuel 21. Instead of typing out all 14 verses of her story, I’ll give you a recap: There was a famine in the land. When King David asked the Lord about it, he learned it was because the previous king (Saul) had murdered the Gibeonites.
But Saul is dead so it’s up to David to make things right. So he talked to the Gibeonites. They didn’t want money and they didn’t want war. They asked for seven of Saul’s sons. David agreed and gave them the men. Two of those men were sons of Rizpah.
The Bible tells us the Gibeonites executed the seven men on the mountain at the beginning of the barley harvest. In verse 10, Rizpah gets burlap and spreads it out on a rock. This is where the story gets good for me…
“…She prevented the scavenger birds from tearing at their bodies during the day and stopped wild animals from eating them at night.“
Talk about a brave mammer jammer. She got on a rock and defended their bodies. We don’t know exactly what she used to fight off the birds and wild animals, allow me to assume she used a stick.
I imagine she raised her stick and screamed, “Not today vultures!” during the day. Maybe she lit the stick on fire and ran around in circles to scare off hungry animals at night.
She stayed there the entire season. Ya’ll, the ENTIRE season. If you do a bit of research, (which I did because I am a teacher and book nerd) you find the barley harvest started in April. Scholars and commentators agree the harvest season was over typically over in October. I’ll let you do the math.
At this point you may be wondering how a crazy, grieving mother relates to you?
Many of you need to find your inner Rizpah. Because many of you have birds swarming around your head and animals attacking your heart every.single.day.
Not literal birds of course. Your attackers are invisible. They are the lies rolling around in your head and they are the most dangerous. Depression, worry, and anger. Maybe your animals are comparison, insecurity.
You need to pick up a stick, a shoe or maybe even a flame thrower, and you need to knock those birds away. Fight off the fear trying to grip your heart, the comparison keeping you from reaching your dreams, or the anxiety wanting to paralyze your life. Tell those birds, “Not today. I’m choosing peace.”
Remind yourself about the powerful God you serve. Read His word, memorize His word and speak it out loud.
Rizpah couldn’t control what happened. She could control how she reacted. She planted herself on a rock and defended what God had given her. Even when it was scary.
Find the Rizpah within.