Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters, WE are at war.
There is a war going on right at this very moment.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
There is a war going on at this very moment, not necessarily fought on soil, but in souls. I see it all around me, feel the heat of the battle, cringe as the casualty list grows.
The story of Rizpah was mentioned yesterday. Out of all of the women in the Bible, this one shines a mother's love brighter than any other.
There is no indication of what kind of mother she was, all that is really know of her is that she was a concubine of Saul.
During the time of Joshua there had been a league made that the Gibeonites would not be killed. Saul ignored this and, along with his sons, broke this vow. Because of this the Lord sent famine unto the land.
When David entreated the Lord to end the famine he was sent to the Gibeonites to inquire as to what would bring restitution. The answer was seven of Saul's sons were to be given to them to be hanged.
Two of these were the sons of Rizpah. There is no indication that she attempted to stop the hanging of her sons, but after their deaths she spread sackcloth on the rock where they were hanging and kept a vigil, night and day, to keep their corpses from being consumed by the birds in the day and by the beasts in the night.
And she did this through the whole harvest season, with people working around her gathering in the crops. She did this during the heat of the day, during the rain, during the cold of the night, until word reached David.
When he heard of this he had the bones of Saul and Jonathan retrieved along with the bones of these sons of Saul, and they were placed in the sepulchre of Saul's father Kish.
Only then was God entreated for Israel.
I lived many years trying to raise my children with an unsaved spouse. This lead to situations and problems that were difficult to face. It was a challenge to explain to young children why they could not do the things that Dad did without distorting his authority as their father.
There were times that I would lose, and they would take part in things that would break my heart and cause me to don my own spiritual sackcloth and mourn and lament for situations they were in that should have never taken place.
And there were times that I would wonder within myself if they would survive. I would see their interest in the things of God waining and overhead I could see the buzzards begin to circle, awaiting the death of their faith.
What the buzzards did not count on, what those beast did not foresee, was the perseverance of godly love.
I see others today, waving their hands, chasing the devourer away from the bodies of their children. While we work along in the field, bringing in the harvest, their sole focus is on keeping their remains intact.
How do you think David found out about Rizpah? He was not in the fields working, he was the king.
He found out because someone told him. Someone else went to the king because what they saw obviously touched their heart.
And the king was moved to act.
Do you know a Rizpah? A parent or loved one mourning right now?
Because if you do, let me remind you of something. For us today, the grave is not the end.
If they are lamenting at the spiritual death of their child, their hope can be renewed.
Won't you go to the King for them?
Oh, you can continue to work, pretending you don't see their arms waving, pretending you don't hear their voices raised. I am sure there were many there that did that very thing.
But if you can speak to the King on their behalf, He has the power to raise the dead, the power to resurrect the lifeless.
Are you wondering why there has been a famine, why your harvest has not been fruitful? Have you been ignoring the Rizpah's around you? Looking for a breakthrough?
Look no further than those empty pews that used to contain our youth. It may not be your child, but that should not stop you from being the first to bring the news to the King.
Look up, overhead the buzzards are circling the faith of our youth...What are YOU going to do about it?