LEARNING FROM WOMEN OF THE BIBLE
BY ANNE REECE
WHO IS RIZPRH?
Rizpah, you ask? The story is told in II Samuel 21:1-14. Rizpah was a concubine of Saul’s, the mother of two sons. The story unfolds as King David asks the Gibeonites how he can make atonement unto them. Saul had caused them great grief The Gibeonites wanted seven sons of Saul to be brought to them for hanging. David agreed and it was carried out. The Gibeonites hung the seven men and for their burial, left their bodies in the fields for the buzzards. Atonement is completed. All can be forgotten.
Forgotten? Not to Rizpah. The aching, grieving heart of a devastated mother led her out to the field where these men lay. The Bible says, “Rizpah took sackcloth and spread it for her upon the rock from the beginning of the harvest (April) until water dropped upon them out of heaven (October), and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor, the beasts of the field by night” (II Samuel 21:10).
For six long months, Rizpah stayed there, exposed to raging heat and extreme elements. Guarding not only her sons, but the five grandsons of Saul as well.
She wasn’t fighting off robins and sparrows, but buzzards-vultures. Strong vicious, hungry birds. At night the beasts of the field stalking, hunting, preying. No, they wouldn’t get her sons. Hers or
the others. Rizaph stood between them.
The bible doesn’t tell us how she influenced her sons, but we see how she influenced the king. David was apparently moved with compassion for Rizpah because he gathered the bones of the seven sons together and gave them a burial place of dignity. Rizapah was committed, totally, to her cause. Are we? Rizpah fought the fowl of the air, even for the sons that were not her own. We can wage war against the Prince and Power of the air for our children.
Rizpah’s zeal and passion moved her King. We can move our King of Kings through intercessory prayer. Like Rizpah, let us not intercede for our loved ones, only, but for others as well. How are we influencing our King of Kings through prayer?
WHO IS ZERESH?
Zeresh. Oh, yes, Haman’s wife in the book of Esther.
Poor Haman and his wounded pride went home to sulk. Mordecai, the Jew who sat in the King’s gate, would not bow down unto him. So, Haman gathered Ws friends and his wife, Zeresh.
Zeresh with vicious zeal encouraged her husband to plot evil. Esther 5:14 tells us she suggested a great, high gallows be made. Have Mordecai hanged and then go “merrily” on to the King’s banquet.
Zeresh’s encouragement accelerated her husband’s hate and vengeance. But wait, we soon hear Zeresh singing a different tune. In 6:13-14, she now tells Haman the situation is hopeless. “You shall not prevail.” Esther 8:7 brings us the end of Haman on his own gallows. As wives, we have a great amount of influence with our husbands. Are we encouraging them to do good? God forbid that we would influence them away from godliness. Perhaps if Zeresh had not suggested building the gallows for Mordecai, Haman would not have thought of such vulgar revenge.
How are we influencing our husbands?
WHO IS JEDIDAH?
We have such power In our hands as women. Let us use it with godly wisdom to Influence our God, our husbands and our children.
The Bible barely mentions her name, but the fact that she is mentioned makes her significant.
II Kings chapters 22 and 23 tell us the story of Josiah, the child king who began his reign at age eight. Verse one tells us his mother’s name was Jedidah.
Josiah reigned in a time in which before and after him was ruled by evil kings. In 22:2 it says, “…and he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.” II Kings 22:25 says, “And like unto him was there no king before him that turned to the Lord with all Ms heart and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.”
Who do you think was the greatest influence on this eight-year-old boy that held the throne? His wicked father, Amon, now dead, had obviously not been a positive influence on his son. It is probably safe to say that Jedidah was a God-fearing women. A rare find in Jerusalem in those days. So rare, her name is mentioned here.
How arc we influencing our children? Would we, as mothers, merit our names being recorded?
We have such power in our hands as women. Let us use it with godly wisdom to influence our God, our husbands and our children.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM THE MINNESOTA MESSENGER, OCTOBER, 1993 AND PUBLISHED BY THE LOUISIANA CHALLENGER, PAGE 8. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.