Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rizpah's Witness Part Two


     Today, we continue writing about a blessed woman in the bible named Rizpah who caused a king and a nation to remember that her innocent sons and nephews died for the sins of the people. Like Rizpah I pray that all my friends everywhere who read this will remind people that the innocent Son of God, the Lord Jesus died for the sins of the people. Remember Proverbs 11:30 says the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life and he that winneth souls is wise. Tell people everywhere to confess Jesus as God and believe in their heart that Jesus died for them on the cross and rose again to be saved according to Romans 10:9.

     Pictured above after the Gibeonites killed Rizpah's two innocent sons and Michal's five innocent sons for their daddy Saul's sin of slaying the Gibeonites, Rizpah went out on a hill underneath her two sons and five nephews to protect them from the birds of the air by day and the beasts of the field by night. Rizpah took a big black sackcloth and spread it upon a rock underneath her slain sons' and nephews' bodies and for months Rizpah watched and protected her slain sons from the beasts and birds. For weeks and weeks, Rizpah kept away the buzzards and vultures by day, and the jackals, wolves, and coyotes by night from her slain sons' and nephews' bodies.

     The bible speaks about the above picture at 2 Samuel 21:9 and says And he (David) delivered them (the seven sons of Saul) into the hands of the Gibeonites and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord, and they fell all seven together and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days in the beginning of barley harvest. 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.

     Rizpah was a victim of vengeance. Rizpah had lost her husband Saul and her two dear sons Armoni and Mephibosheth because of the sins of the people. But Rizpah said I'm going to cause the king and the people to remember that innocent children were killed and deserved a proper burial. Rizpah wanted to preserve the bodies of her slain sons and nephews from the buzzards, vultures, jackals, wolves, and coyotes to avoid the shame of people mocking and wagging their heads because these boys did not have a proper burial.

     Pictured above we see that three women named Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, like Rizpah wanted to preserve the body of the innocent Lamb of God, our Lord Jesus who is the Son of God who died for the sins of the people. Mary Magdalene, Mary, and Salome came to the tomb of Jesus with spikenard, spices, ointment, and embalming fluids that weighed 120 pounds to preserve and protect Jesus' body from decaying.  Mark 16:1 says And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him (Jesus after He died and was in a tomb). These three women were like Rizpah who wanted to preserve the bodies of Saul's slain sons from decaying by driving away vultures, buzzards, jackals, wolves, and coyotes day and night.

     Friends, like Rizpah, Mary Magdalene, Mary, and Salome, let's all preserve the memory that innocent Jesus our Lord died on the cross for the sins of all people past, present, and future. Tell people everywhere to be like Rizpah and remind people to daily look by faith with their hearts at the innocent Son of God Jesus who was crucified for our sins. Everytime we see our Lord Jesus on the cross by faith, we should all say Lord Jesus forgive me for my sins that crucified you and thanks for dying for me, taking away my sins with your precious blood, and giving me eternal life. Now I'm gonna try to win the world to Jesus Christ. Forgive me for not being a better christian.

     Friend anywhere reading this, say this prayer right now and I pray peace and strength to fill your life in Jesus name. Say Lord Jesus please keep the cross ever before my eyes that it might lead me, direct me, and guide me in the way you would have me to go. May I be like Rizpah and daily live in the shadow of the cross of our innocent Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God that is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Thank you Lord Jesus that I am crucified with Christ according to Galatians 2:20 and that the blood of Jesus has overcome and destroyed the devil, cleansing me from all my sins. Rejoice friends because Hebrews 2:14 promises when Jesus died on the cross, the devil and the power of death was destroyed forevermore.

     Note also that Jesus said that when Mary Magdalene anointed him with spikenard at Simon's house, the spikenard ointment was to be used for his burial to preserve His body from decay. Mary Magdalene like Rizpah wanted to preserve the Son of God's body from decay. Jesus said at Matthew 26:12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Mark 14:3 speaks of Mary Magdalene anointing Jesus with spikenard at Simon's house and says And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious, and she brake the box, and poured it on His head.

     People have said Brother Bob how do you know that the unnamed woman at Simon's house that anointed Jesus with spikenard was Mary Magdalene? In response I tell people to read Luke's account of this story at Luke 7:36 to the end of the chapter. Then notice at Luke 8:2 we see that after Mary Magdalene anointed Jesus with spikenard at Simon's house, Mary Magdalene was healed of evil spirits and infirmities and followed Jesus. Luke 8 says And it came to pass afterward, that He (Jesus) went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God; and the twelve were with him. And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils (the bible tells us that Mary Magdalene was the woman healed at Simon's house that followed Jesus).

     OK, back to our study about Rizpah. After Rizpah for months ran off any bird or beast from her slain sons' and nephews' bodies, pictured above a man told King David that Rizpah was up on the hill underneath the seven slain sons of Saul. The man told King David that people all over the nation daily saw the silhouettes of seven trees, seven slain men, and one faithful woman named Rizpah going from one body to another body driving away any critter and it's shaming the entire nation that the boys have not been buried.

    This caused David to feel guilty and ashamed that he killed innocent children for the sins of the people without a proper burial. As a result David gathered the bones of Saul, Jonathan, and the seven slain sons. David then buried Saul and Jonathan in the sepulchre of Kish who was Saul's father. Notice that only Saul and Jonathan were buried with no mention that Saul's seven slain sons were buried. I believe this occurred to have us remember that our Lord Jesus was resurrected and is not in any grave forevermore. We could say Rizpah like Mary Magdalene couldn't find the bodies of her sons or Jesus because they were all risen from the dead. Saul and his seven sons were anointed and like Jesus are not in any grave but risen living forevermore in the kingdom of God.

     Next read how the bible describes how David was shamed by Rizpah and gathered the bones of Saul's seven sons, Saul, and Jonathan, burying only Saul and Jonathan. 2 Samuel 21:11 says And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah the concubine of Saul had done. 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 Bashan, where the Philistines had hanged them when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa.

     2 Samuel 21:13 goes on to say 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 intreated for the land.

     OK, to close today's bible study about Rizpah's witness, let's see how the story of Rizpah reminds us of our Lord Jesus. Remember, since the Word is Jesus, when we read any story in the old testament like Rizpah's story, we can see Jesus in the story. In the first picture above we see Mary (Jesus' mother) and John looking at our innocent Lord Jesus who died on the cross for the sins of the people. Doesn't this remind you of Rizpah and King David looking at the seven innocent slain sons of Saul who also died for the sins of the people on crosses and trees.

     Now, as you all look at the second picture above, see how as King David in the old testament felt guilty for killing the seven innocent sons of Saul, the 3000 people in the new testament who heard Peter preach how Jesus died for their sins also felt guilty for crucifying our Lord Jesus. Wow, like David these three thousand people felt guilty for killing the innocent Son of God Jesus and repented, got saved, and accepted Jesus as their Lord.

     The story about the second picture and Peter's sermon to the 3000 people that crucified Jesus is found at Acts 2:36 that says Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. As Peter like Rizpah preached that innocent Jesus died for the sins of the people, the 3000 people like King David realized that their sins had wrongfully killed our Lord Jesus, and they all got saved. Acts 2:40 goes on to say And with many other words did he (Peter) testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized, and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

     Notice also that many of the priests also believed and accepted Jesus as their Lord as they heard the disciples preach how Jesus died for the sins of the people. Acts 18:8 says And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue believed on the Lord with all his house and many of the Corinthians hearing believed and were baptized. Friend, I pray in Jesus name, we can be like Rizpah and Peter and remind people that innocent Jesus died for their sins, rose again and must be confessed as God to be saved, as lost sinners receive everlasting life.

     As always it has been a great joy to write this bible study today about Rizpah. Feel free to email Brother Bob anytime at rz8tlm@yahoo.com or write to Brother Bob Malkin, 2233 Pinetree Lane, Apt. N., Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068. (614) 604-7133. Till we all meet again soon to lift up our Lord Jesus, everyone have a blessed day in Jesus name.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rizpah's Witness Part One


     Pictured above we see a blessed woman of God named Rizpah (defined as a hot coal) who like Mary as the mother of Jesus caused nations to remember that her innocent son died for the sins of the people. I pray in Jesus name we all can be like Rizpah and Mary as a hot coal to spark people to remember that the innocent Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, died on the cross for our sins. Brother Bob like Rizpah says to anyone reading this forevermore, remember that innocent Jesus died for you on the cross to remove your sins forevermore. Right now we all should worship and thank the Lord Jesus for removing our sins by shedding His own blood at the cross of Calvary. Today friend get saved and give your life to the Lord Jesus Christ by saying Jesus is God and believing in your heart that Jesus died for you and rose again.

     To understand Rizpah's witness and why she protected her dead slain sons from buzzards and vultures by day and jackals, coyotes, and wolves by night, we must look at a sin committed years earlier by Joshua. Joshua made a treaty with a people named the Gibeonites without God's approval. Joshua became proud and agreed not to harm the Gibeonites if they would be his slaves, hew wood and draw water for Israel. This was a sin and years later King Saul disobeyed this covenant by killing some of the Gibeonites.

     Then after King Saul died, the Gibeonites that survived by escaping safely to the mountains, asked King David for seven of King Saul's innocent sons to be hanged to death because of Saul's refusal to obey Joshua's covenant to not harm the Gibeonites. King David agreed to the Gibeonites' request and delivered seven innocent sons of King Saul to the Gibeonites to be slain. Rizpah was the mother of two of Saul's slain sons named Armoni and Mephibosheth and spent months protecting the slain sons' bodies from the birds of the air by day and the beasts of the field by night.

     The story about Rizpah's witness is found at 2 Samuel 21 and says Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year and David enquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, it is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. You see a famine for three years occurred because Saul disobeyed Joshua's treaty to not harm the Gibeonites made in the name of the Lord. Pictured above we see that the lying Gibeonites tricked Joshua into making a peace treaty to not harm the Gibeonites.

     The story of how the Gibeonites tricked Joshua can be found at Joshua 9. After Joshua came across the Jordan river, went around Jericho seven times causing the walls of Jericho to fall down, and defeated Ai, pictured above there was a bunch of people up in Gibeah who put on old raggedy clothes, old worn out shoes, and brought mouldy bread, acting like they'd been walking for hundreds of miles. The Gibeonites met Joshua and said we've traveled a long distance with worn out shoes, worn out clothes, and mouldy bread. The Gibeonites said Joshua please don't kill us and make peace with us.

     Joshua did not enquire of the Lord whether to make a peace treaty with the Gibeonites and sinned by making a covenant to not harm the Gibeonites in the name of the Lord. Now when someone made a covenant in the name of the Lord it stood. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him, Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

     The bible warns us to be careful about making vows, promises, and oaths in the name of the Lord. James 5:12 says But above all things my brethren, swear not neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath; but let your yea be yea and your nay nay, lest ye fall into condemnation.  Matthew 5:34 also says But I say unto you, swear not at all, neither by heaven; for it is God's throne; Nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; neither by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king; Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be Yea, Yea, Nay, Nay, for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

      Joshua promised a bunch of enemies named the Gibeonites that they could dwell in the land peaceably, carry on their own ways, and do their own culture. After Joshua discovered that he was tricked into a peace treaty with these lying Gibeonites who lived in the land without traveling a long distance, Joshua and the Israelites threatened to harm the Gibeonites. The Gibeonites replied and said Joshua spare our lives and let us be your water bearers and wood hewers. This sounded good to Joshua, as Joshua became proud and was glad to allow the Gibeonites to live as his slaves, but this was not God's will.

     OK, years after Joshua's peace treaty with the Gibeonites, pictured above we see that the prophet Samuel anointed King Saul who was tall to be Israel's first king. King Saul refused to obey Joshua's peace treaty with the Gibeonites, viewing the Gibeonites as a threat. As a result, King Saul killed many Gibeonites as he tried to wipe out the Gibeonites. Only a handful of Gibeonites lived by escaping to the mountains. As the people rejoiced that Saul had killed the Gibeonites, someone said Oh no we violated Joshua's peace treaty with the Gibeonites made in the name of the Lord.

     Now after Saul was killed by the Philistines, the surviving Gibeonites reminded the next King David that a famine was occurring for three years because Saul had violated Joshua''s peace treaty made in the name of the Lord with the Gibeonites. 2 Samuel 21:3 goes on to say Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement that ye may bless the inheritance of the Lord? And the Gibeonites said unto him, we will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house., neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you.

     2 Samuel 21:5 goes on to say And they answered the king, The man that consumed us (Saul) 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. But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul because of the Lord's oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.

     2 Samuel 21:8 goes on to say But the king took the two sons of Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and the older Mephibosheth (uncle to the younger Mephibosheth who was Jonathan's son whose life was spared) and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzilai the Meholathite. And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord, and they fell all seven together and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days in the beginning of barley harvest.

     So we see that King David told the Gibeonites, you can have seven sons of Saul, but you can't have the younger Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan. The younger Mephibosheth is eating at my table because he's the covenant man between me and Jonathan. I'm keeping the younger Mephibosheth, but you can have the older uncle Mephibosheth, son of Saul and Rizpah. You can have Rizpah's two sons and Michal's five sons but you can't have the younger Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan.

     The Gibeonites told David, it's a deal. We'll obey you as king and continue to hew your wood and carry your water. Like Joshua, David sinned by becoming proud and glad to have the Gibeonites as his slaves and let seven innocent boys die for the sins of the people. These seven innocent children never did any harm to the Gibeonites. It was their daddy Saul who harmed the Gibeonites.

     Notice that when people lie and sin, innocent people are harmed. Because the Gibeonites lied to Joshua, Saul killed the Gibeonites, and David was proud and arrogant to allow the Gibeonites to be his slaves, Rizpah became a victim of vengeance as her innocent sons were killed because of the sins of the people. The innocent Son of God Jesus our Lord was also killed because of the sins of the people.

     But, the one bright blessing in all these stories is how Rizpah made a vigil and stayed by her slain sons for months, protecting them from the birds and the animals requesting a burial, making King David and the people feel guilty and remember that innocent boys were killed because of the sins of the people. Because of Rizpah, David repented of his sins, gathered the bones of the seven slain sons of Saul along with Saul and Jonathan's bones and buried Saul and Jonathan.

     I pray in Jesus name that anyone reading this bible study can be like Rizpah and cause people to remember that the Lord Jesus was the innocent Son of God that died for the sins of the people. May we all like Rizpah live daily in the shadow of the cross of an innocent son of God like our Lord Jesus.

     Lord Jesus, please keep the cross ever before our eyes that the cross might lead us, direct us, and guide us to repent and follow in the way you'd have us to go. May we all like Rizpah do our best to show lost sinners the Lord Jesus as the innocent Son of God hanging upon a cross for the sins of the people. As a result, lost sinners will repent, finding the way to forgiveness and eternal life, realizing like King David the error of their ways.

     Notice in the above picture that Jesus warned us to not sin and pull up tares around the wheat. Jesus said to let the wheat and tares grow together because if you pull up a tare, you will also harm the innocent wheat. Because King Saul tried to pull up the lying Gibeonite tares, seven innocent sons of Saul who represent the wheat were also harmed. Notice that when people have a grudge and are bent on destroying someone like King Saul did to the Gibeonites, they tear up everything around them. It's best not to take sides in disputes in churches because it causes divisions and harms innocent people. Just pray and allow the Lord Jesus to be the judge to settle all disputes in any church.

     Friend reading this, leave vengeance to our Lord Jesus and bless your enemies. Romans 12:19 tells us Dearly beloved avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath, for it is written Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord. Let the Lord Jesus and his angels separate the sinful tares from the wheat and fight our battles. As saints we should pray that our enemies repent and live for our Lord Jesus, escaping the wrath and vengeance of the Lord. Hebrews 2:3 says How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation.

     Take time to read Jesus' parable about the picture above of the wheat and the tares at Matthew 13:27 that says So the servants of the householder came and said unto Him, Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, an enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him; Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But, He said Nay, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers; Gather ye together first the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.

     I'll continue my story about how Rizpah like Mary caused a nation to remember that an innocent son had died for the sins of the people in my next bible study. Feel free to contact Brother Bob anytime at rz8tlm@yahoo.com or write to Brother Bob Malkin, 2233 Pinetree Lane, Apt. N., Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068. (614) 604-7133. Until we all meet again soon to lift up our Lord Jesus, everyone have a blessed day in Jesus name.