When Micah asked if I’d be willing to do a blog post I wasn’t sure I could be eloquent or inspiring. I also thought I’d get a very flowery and fun passage, because isn’t that what the Bible is supposed to do? Make you feel good?
Well having taken some time to read 2 Samuel (and read it and read it) I have spent a lot of time thinking about how on earth this passage can apply to my life. So 2 Samuel 21:1-14 is pretty heavy and really not a feel good passage. It starts in a time of famine during David’s time. 3 years to be specific… Now I don’t know about you, but I feel like over the last 15 years of my life I have struggled through periods of famine. From a marriage, to motherhood, job loss, divorce, job loss, illness, relationship struggles, dependency issues I’ve had my fair share of emotional, physical and spiritual famine. I have many times found myself crying at someone’s feet, crying out for relief and help and not knowing if I’d would ever see the end of it.
From droughts to unemployment, sickness to personal failures. We all have some sort of famine we deal with. We all have times in our lives where we are without something we so desperately need. We feel hopeless and confused. We question why WE are the ones suffering and look for a reason. Poor choice, bad luck, misfortune, God’s will.
In the same vein, to every action we take, there is a consequence. There are ripple effects for decisions and choices we make, our spouses make, our children make, their children make and someone down the line can pay a price for a poor choice. There is always a “bigger picture” than just our immediate needs. We need to remember to seek counsel and guidance in times of famine.
What does David do? He seeks GOD, he asks for wisdom in understanding why this is happening and what can be done to change it? He knows that there is a reason, and he calmly and rationally explores a solution.
Do we do that? I don’t always, I bargain and barter. I look to blame someone else, I don’t always want to take responsibility for being there. It’s easy to want to find some other reason that we suffer, but all we really need to do is take it to God. Seek his counsel and rationally find the solution.
Now we live in a very different time, and our problems won’t be solved in quite the same way as David’s, but if we seek God he will provide us with steps to ease our strife. In verses 5-6 David goes to the Gibeonites to right this wrong and he is asked to hand over seven sons of Saul to be hanged. David agrees and hands them over to be executed as criminals if it means that there will be an end to the famine. So all seven men are hanged on a holy mountain, before God, just as harvest is getting underway.
Enter Rizpah mother of two of the men. She stations herself on a rock, looking over the bodies and keeping the birds and animals from desecrating the bodies, and she remains at vigil for months on end. As a mother, and maternal figure to all the men, she love them so completely, and though it pains her to know they died before their time, she stands guard, giving them the respect and protection that they deserve. A good lesson we can learn from this is that despite the actions of our children (or those who look up to us for guidance) we cannot stop loving them or protecting them under any circumstance. We must accept responsibility for our actions, trust God and love unconditionally. Even during the hardest of times.