09 rizpah faithfulness


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Characters from Old testament

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09 rizpah faithfulness

  1. 1. Lesson 9
  2. 2. “Polygamy 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 Satan’s 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 vice” E.G.W. (Patriarchs and prophets, cp. 29, p. 350) There isn’t a clear disapproval of concubinage and polygamy in the Bible. Does that mean that God endorses those habits? What did being Saul’s concubine mean to Rizpah?
  3. 3. “King Solomon answered his mother, "Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite [David’s 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 father’s concubines, according to the custom of oriental nations, thus declaring that he succeeded to his father’s throne” (E.G.W., “Patriarchs and prophets”, cp. 72, pg. 799) What part did Rizpah play in the fall of Saul’s house? What was the implication of taking the concubine of the previous king?
  4. 4. The Gibeonites demanded the sons of Saul to pay for their father’s 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)? Saul 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.
  5. 5. “Saul didn’t 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 Saul’s punishment. The whole nation got involved in breaking Joshua’s and the princes’ solemn oath more than 400 years later” (SDA Bible Commentary, on 2 Samuel, 21: 2)
  6. 6. Was God’s will that Rizpah’s and Merab’s 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 don’t read in the record that David consulted God nor that what the Gibeonites demanded and what David did was in harmony with God’s request to rectify the situation” (SDA Bible Commentary, on 2 Samuel, 21: 3)
  7. 7. One of the possible answers is that Rizpah wanted to be sure –even in the middle of her pain– that God would bless the people of Israel again (“would atone for them”) by sending them rain. That’s why she didn’t 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?
  8. 8. How was Rizpah the trigger for uniting Judah and Israel in David’s time? “Rizpah’s tender zeal made David show respect to Saul’s descendants. David wanted to show that he kept no enmity towards the previous king, so he brought Saul’s and Jonathan’s bones to Jabesh Gilead; he buried them honourably in the old family tomb” (SDA Bible Commentary, on 2 Samuel, 21: 12)
  9. 9. “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 each” E.G.W. (This day with God, March 12)
  10. 10. ASSOCIATE truth – Why should I study this lesson? DISCOVER truth – What does the Bible say about this truth? APPLY truth – How can this truth affect my life today? PLAN using the truth – How can I use this truth today? TRANSFER truth to life – What changes do I need in my life? ADAPT it! Teaching Approach Effective for SMALL GROUPS Slideshare.net/chucho1943 We invite you to download and study each one of the 13 lessons about Characters of the Old Testament