Rizpah's Watch; Or, the Story of a Mother's Love
2 Samuel 21:10-14
And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her on the rock…

Rizpah, the widow of Saul, was getting to be an old woman when her two sons, Armoni and Mephibosheth, were hanged in Gibeah, at the demand of the Gibeonites, who had been ravished and desolated by the cruel wickedness of Saul, their father. These men suffered not only for their own sin, but for the sins of the wicked family in which they were born, and especially for the sins of their father. Rizpah stands out as the true type of the undying loyalty of motherhood. What the world owes to good mothers, who have sacrificed themselves with all joy that they might live again in their children, no statistician will ever be able to adequately determine. John Newton, who caused his mother much sorrow while she lived, was brought back to righteousness long after she had gone to heaven by the recollection of the lessons she had taught him. God brought her back to him again in a vision, and the memory of her prayers and of her tender solicitude broke his heart and turned him away from sin. John Randolph once said: "I should have been an atheist if it had not been for one recollection — and that was the memory of the time when my departed mother used to take my little hand in hers and cause me on my knees to say, 'Our Father, which art in heaven.'" When General Grant was at West Point, he wrote to his mother: "Your kind words of admonition are ever present with me. How well do they strengthen me in every good word and work. Should I become a soldier for my country, I look forward with hope to have you spared to share with me any advancement I might gain, and I trust that my future conduct will prove me worthy of the patriotic instruction you and father have given me." No human being in this world has so much power over the life of man or woman, taking it all in all, as the mother. A mother gives the very emphasis and tone and colour to the speech of her child, and that is only an "outward indication of the way she moulds the plastic soul within. Of all the most important classes for the welfare of the world, mothers lead the van. No wonder Napoleon said, in his wicked day, "What France needs is good mothers." And as there is no devotion more beautiful and splendid than that of a mother's, so there is nothing that wins a higher meed of love and gratitude in return, The affection which the noblest and truest men and women in the world have had for their mothers brightens up the pages of history. Lord Macaulay once said that it was worth while being sick to be nursed by a mother. William Cowper said: "Every creature that bears an affinity to my mother is dear to me." When Thomas Guthrie, the great Scotch preacher, was on his deathbed, his latest words were these: "How strange to think that within twenty-four hours I may see my mother and my Saviour!" How much it means when God says that He will comfort us, when we give our hearts to Him, as a mother comforteth her child! How can anyone fear to yield completely to the mother-like arms of Divine love? It is this mother-God to whom I call you to-night,

(L. A. Banks, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water was poured on them from the sky. She allowed neither the birds of the sky to rest on them by day, nor the animals of the field by night.

Rizpah: Or, Relative Suffering
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