rizpah : the influence of faithfulness


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RIZPAH : THE INFLUENCE OF FAITHFULNESS. Lesson 9 for the 27 th of November, 2010. RIZPAH , SAULS CONCUBINE. What did being Sauls concubine mean to Rizpah ?. There isnt a clear disapproval of concubinage and polygamy in the Bible. Does that mean that God endorses those habits?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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RIZPAH: THE INFLUENCE OF FAITHFULNESSLesson 9 for the 27th of November, 2010Polygamy was practiced at an early date. It was one of the sins that brought the wrath of God upon the antediluvian world. Yet after the Flood it again became widespread. It was Satans studied effort to pervert the marriage institution, to weaken its obligations and lessen its sacredness; for in no surer way could he deface the image of God in man and open the door to misery and viceE.G.W. (Patriarchs and prophets, cp. 29, p. 350)There isnt a clear disapproval of concubinage and polygamy in the Bible. Does that mean that God endorses those habits?RIZPAH, SAULS CONCUBINEWhat did being Sauls concubine mean to Rizpah?RIZPAH, BETWEEN ABNER AND ISH-BOSHETHKing Solomon answered his mother, "Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite [Davids concubine] for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom for him--after all, he is my older brother-- yes, for him and for Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah!" (1 Kings, 2: 22)In the sight of all Israel he [Absalom] was to take to himself his fathers concubines, according to the custom of oriental nations, thus declaring that he succeeded to his fathers throne(E.G.W., Patriarchs and prophets, cp. 72, pg. 799)What part did Rizpah play in the fall of Sauls house?What was the implication of taking the concubine of the previous king?

The Gibeonites demanded the sons of Saul to pay for their fathers affront. How can we understand that in the light of texts like fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin (Deuteronomy, 24: 16)?A JUSTICE PROBLEMSaul exterminated the Gibeonites from Israel, breaking the alliance that Joshua made with them. That was obviously unpleasant to God, so He deprived the people of Israel of rain.

Saul didnt take part on that fault alone. He acted with the people and in its name, as the king of Israel. Undoubtedly, the people agreed and the guilt of exterminating the Gibeonites fell on both the people and the king. That explains why the Lord allowed David and his people to suffer Sauls punishment. The whole nation got involved in breaking Joshuas and the princes solemn oath more than 400 years later(SDA Bible Commentary, on 2 Samuel, 21: 2)A JUSTICE PROBLEM

Was Gods will that Rizpahs and Merabs children should be hung?But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah's daughter Rizpah, whom she had borne to Saul, together with the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab, whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite (2 Samuel, 21: 8 NVI)David should have asked God that question [how can I appease them?], as he did in hunger times. We dont read in the record that David consulted God nor that what the Gibeonites demanded and what David did was in harmony with Gods request to rectify the situation(SDA Bible Commentary, on 2 Samuel, 21: 3)A JUSTICE PROBLEM

RIZPAH, HER FAITHFULNESSOne of the possibleanswers is that Rizpahwanted to be sureeven in the middle ofher pain that Godwould bless the people of Israel again (would atonefor them) by sending them rain. Thats why she didnt move away from there until she had carried out her task.Why did Rizpah go to keep vigil over the bodies of her children instead of mourning at home (as Merab did)?How did Rizpah show faithfulness in that unpleasant situation?

RIZPAH, THE CONSEQUENCES OF HER ACTSHow was Rizpah the trigger for uniting Judah and Israel in Davids time?Rizpahs tender zeal made David show respect to Sauls descendants. David wanted to show that he kept no enmity towards the previous king, so he brought Sauls and Jonathans bones to Jabesh Gilead; he buried them honourably in the old family tomb(SDA Bible Commentary, on 2 Samuel, 21: 12)

There is nothing insignificant in the work of God, and the faithfulness with which the work is done rather than the amount decides the reward of eachE.G.W. (This day with God, March 12)