A Mom’s Persistence: 2 Samuel 21 By Jodi Schwendeman
I was privileged enough to be raised by incredible parents, with amazing grandparents in the wings. My mom is a PK (pastor’s kid), my uncle is a pastor, and my son is going into the ministry…all strong men of God. I thank God for all of them; however, today I want to talk about women, specifically moms, and how we can “kick hell” out for the sake of our family. Before I get to the main part of this message, some background information is necessary.
To put the scripture above in context, this passage happened as David rose as king of the nation of Israel. The first 3 years of his reign brought a famine to the Israel nation, and God showed them it was because Israelites had killed some of the Gibeonites, and they had not been compensated for the deaths (another story for another time). When David asked how he could make things right with them, they demanded the death of 7 of Saul’s sons. Saul was the prior king, and it was under his reign that the killings took place. David chose 2 sons of Rizpah (one of Saul’s concubines) and 5 sons of Merab (Saul’s daughter). The Gibeonites killed all 7, and hung them for everyone to see.
After they were hung, Rizpah found a rock near her son’s bodies, and, for 5 months stood watch and chased away all the birds and other animals that would normally have feasted on the bodies. When David heard what she had done, he took the bodies down and buried them in their “rightful place” with Saul, Jonathan (Saul’s son) and others from Saul’s family.
As parents, we can empathize with her grief, what a horrible experience to witness! I am sure her friend’s tried to “talk reason” to her, I am sure they offered up prayers for her, I am sure some of them even gave up on her! After all, her sons were dead, beyond saving, her acts were hopeless….right?
What did her efforts accomplish? Her actions were those of a mother wanting to preserve the dignity of her sons, to protect them from being devoured by the world (and those in it), and to never give up until they ended up in their “rightful place” (with their father), even after death!
I too, am a product of persistent prayer of a mother and grandmother. I was raised in church, and became a Christian at a young age. As a teen, I went a totally different direction, but my mom and grandmother NEVER relented in their prayers for me. Even when others tried to “talk reason” to, offered to pray, and even gave up on me…they sat on their “rocks” and prayed for me. I am sure they were horrified by some of the decisions I made, but they never gave up, they wouldn’t allow the world to devour me…they knew God’s promises and His Word, and stood firmly on them…refusing to be shaken.
I am thankful to say that today I serve an amazing God! Their faithfulness and persistence in prayer paid off, and more than 20 years ago, they got to see me back in my “rightful place”…with my Father!
As a mom myself, I have learned to persistently pray hard and specific to keep the world away from my kids and their friends; but this message applies to everyone. Sure, there are times that things have seem hopeless, there are times I want to throw in the towel, climb down off of my rock and give up, but, I pray for God’s strength to be like Rizpah, and pray them all through until they are all in their “rightful place”. We should all be praying for the people in our lives (family and friends). Never give up; never give in until they have all found their “rightful place” in the Lord!
Precious Heavenly Father, I thank you so much for your grace and forgiveness! I pray that you continue to protect my family & friends, keep the birds and beasts of the world away from all of them. Let me be like Rizpah, and be unceasing in my prayers for them. If they walk away from you, I pray your protection over them until they come back to their “rightful place” in you! Never let me forget that there are no lost causes or situations that are too hopeless for you to fix. It’s in your precious Son’s name I pray….Amen!
Do you have family, friends, co-workers that seem to be beyond hope? Have you given up on praying for them? Have you ever prayed for 5 months straight (like Rizpah) for the souls around you?