What can we learn from bloodstains, death, buzzards, and hangings? I know, but the message needs to go forth. It’s one of those messages that will have you saying, “Awe, Lord God why is this happening in my life?”
“Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the presence of the LORD. And the LORD said, “It is for Saul and his bloody house because he put the Gibeonites to death” (Samuel 21:1 NASB).
Famine happens on our land, but we don’t notice it much anymore. We don’t have to wait until June to sink our teeth into ripe, red watermelons or peaches or pears. At our fingertips, we have fake, sprayed, unhealthy foods to choose from year round. We have water sources to sprinkle our grounds with and even genetically modified seeds. But back in the day, the land became dry and cracked, and the harvest was little if any. The people looked up at the sky and waited, then they searched their hearts and inquired to Him. I can remember going to tent meetings when I was a young girl and all the men and women crying out for rain because we were in a drought.
David probably wasn’t too concerned the first year of famine. He probably was getting a better take the second year, and by the third year, he realizes that there is sin somewhere in the land. The land cries out. It always has, whether it’s with earthquakes, typhoons, or even landslides, it cries. The animals cry and also take on a sickly look. Ables blood cries from the ground. Perhaps, you’ve been in a famine for a few years?
David inquired, and he got an answer that could perplex a person. Saul is dead, and yet the famine is happening due to his sins even after his death! Wow! Go back and reread that last sentence.
David said to the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you? And how can I make atonement that you may bless the inheritance of the LORD?”
“Atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it” (Numbers 35:33).
The land was thirsty again, thirsty for blood.
This is serious.
First of all, why would David have to appease a pagan people like the Gibeonites? Well, it seems back in the book of Joshua chapter 9 this happened, “…the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to deception to save themselves. They told Joshua and the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant land to ask you to make a peace treaty with us.”
So then we read something significant, something my husband and I have had multiple conversations about recently, Joshua made an oath, a covenant with these Gibeonites. Have you made a promise to someone that you didn’t keep? Did you bring a person into an agreement with you and now you wish you hadn’t agreed to let them in?
(Joshua 9:15) “And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation swore unto them.” The promise was that Israel and the Gibeonites would live together in PEACE and never WAR against each other.
However, Saul went crazy and slaughtered the Gibeonites and the priest of The Lord and whoever got in his way. I’m going to say this. . . If we have made a covenant or agreement with someone, we need to make things right.
King David wants to make things right. He is now King, and he has inherited not just the title, but the dry, parched sins of the previous ruler. What kind of mess are we leaving for future generations to clean up?
Then the Gibeonites said to him, “We have no concern of silver or gold with Saul or his house, nor is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.” And he said, “I will do for you whatever you say.” So they said to the king, “The man who consumed us and who planned to exterminate us from remaining within any border of Israel, let seven men from his (Saul’s) sons be given to us, and we will hang them before the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the LORD.” And the king said, “I will give them” (2nd Samuel 21:6 NASB).
Saul’s sons have to suffer because of their father’s sins. SAUL’S sons are going to hang because of his sins. Funny how our sins seem to trickle down and affect those we love the most.
King David handed him, seven sons of Saul, except Jonathan’s son and the Gibeonites, slew them and hung them before the Lord. These seven were put to death right before the barley harvest.
It happened at the beginning of Barley Harvest which is Passover. According to the Bible, these men hung for months. The most compelling gripping part of this story is one woman. Her name is Rezin.
(Deuteronomy 21:23 KJV) says that if you hang someone, “His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) That thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”
It seems land has more depth to it than many realize.
Yeshua / Jesus hung on a tree, and his body was taken down, prepared for burial, and was buried that evening. Not these seven men. Let us not forget that these (7) men had a father who was anointed by one of the greatest prophets ever, Samuel. He was raised up and crowned king before all the land of Israel. Now he is responsible for the sins that have reached his sons, and while their bodies decay something happens.
“And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped on 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” (2nd Samuel 21:10 NASB).
When a buzzard, vulture, or unclean bird came to pick the flesh of her seed, she swooshed them away and covered herself in rough sackcloth. The sun did set, and the sun rose upon her, as she huddled up under a rock, keeping watch for months until drops of water fell on her and the land. King David found out and took their bodies down and gave them a proper burial along with Saul’s bones and Jonathan’s.
Oh, Rizpah your story breaks my heart!
I have a question. How badly do we want the first drops of rain to fall in our life? What will we do to get the KING’s attention? It’s almost Passover, swat them buzzards away–tell them to get off your sons, and your daughters–cry out for the cracked dry land in your life! Wait upon the Father; I say wait!