Saturday, September 30, 2006


There is an interesting bit of information recorded in 2Sam 21:1-14. It is more than a gruesome story. There are some definite principles of God involved-- which King David ignored, or was ignorant of-- I don't know which.
First, there was the famine for three years running, and David asking God for a reason. Proverbs 26:2-- , so the curse causeless shall not come.
The Lord informed David that the famine was caused by Saul having broken the treaty between Israel and the Gibeonites, which Joshua had made with them after the crossing of Jordan into Canaan, many, many years before what Saul had done.
The fact that the Gibeonites had deceived Joshua did not seem to void the treaty that was made.
God expects His people to KEEP THEIR WORD.
Joshua had promised NOT TO HARM the Gibeonites. They were put to work furnishing wood for the brazen altar before the Tabernacle.
Saul broke the word of Israel by killing some of the Gibeonites. This was, as near as I can figure, about twenty years before the famine we are dealing with now.
Does time gloss over transgression? No No No!
The ONLY way to deal with a wrong is to make it right, to the best of our ability. That starts with REPENTANCE, and moves on to RESTITUTION. REPENTANCE comes first.
I'm afraid that our Nation and our Churches are in line for REPENTANCE.
When David called the Gibeonites together to apologize for Saul's sin against them, and to make restitution, they answered, II Samuel 21:5 --, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us [that] we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, [whom] the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give [them].
The Gibeonites hung seven of them. Two of them were sons of Rizpah, a former concubine of Saul.
The Law that Moses had given to Israel had forbidden them to let a carcase hang over night. Deuteronomy 21:22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged [is] accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance.
David ignored this injunction, and we are taught another lesson from the scriptures.
The works of repentance and restitution had been done, but there was still no rain. Why?
We learn that if we continue in disobedience to the Word of God, we walk WITHOUT THE BLESSINGS OF GOD.
David caused a lot of problems and discomfort for somebody else through his neglect of correct conduct.
Rizpah set up a watch to guard the bodies of her two sons. II Samuel 21:10 And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night. II Samuel 21:11 And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done.
I figured out one time that it was about three months that she sat on the rock guarding the bodies, but I may have been wrong. The rain schedule had been out of order for three years.
II Samuel 21:12 And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh-gilead, which had stolen them from the street of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa: And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged. And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was entreated for the land.
Rizpah shows us the way of determined intercession to God for the sinfulness of other people, EVEN ON A NATIONAL SCALE!
She fought off the vultures, she drove away the beasts of prey-- even when all sense of reason told her it was an exercise in futility. She refused to give up-- because she was in line with the Word of God. Her faith was in God-- to defend His Word.
SHE DID NOT send a delegation to Washington DC. SHE DID NOT demonstrate in front of business houses in our city, or elsewhere.
SHE DID NOT circulate a petition or a resolution that David be forced to do what was right.
SHE DID continue her prayerful watch over the bodies UNTIL something was done about the situation. She was doing what she did IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD, and in His sight-- LOOKING TO HIM who is able to do all things.
Time after time, in the Bible, we are told of how Israel drifted away from obedience to the Word of God. In almost every instance, when trouble resulted from that disobedience, it is also recorded that they CRIED UNTO THE LORD. God sent deliverance in response to their cries TO HIM.
Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

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