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Oct 3, 2009

Rizpah and the ROCK

Have you "met" Rizpah? Many years ago I heard about a woman named Rizpah. This mother literally guarded her sons night and day for months, beating off the predators that would desecrate the bodies of her boys. Rizpah was a concubine of King Saul and she bore him two sons. Seven sons, two of which were Rizpahs, were hanged to pay a debt to the Gibeonites. Their deaths were to make atonement between the Gibeonites and the house of Israel because of what the Lord called "Saul and his bloodthirsty house..." (2 Samuel 21:1-14).

Rizpah's story is recorded in just a few verses. These few verses are a summary of what I'm certain for Rizpah seemed a lifetime lived out in nightmarish conditions.
Rizpah's name literally means "hot rock." As her sons hung dead above her, she spread out a sackcloth for herself on a rock "from the beginning of harvest until the late rains poured on them from heaven." Rizpah guarded the bodies of her boys, keeping the birds off by day and the beasts off by night.
Can you feel her pain...both physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally? Can you put yourself in her place...loving her sons even in death. Death could not sever the relationship between mother and child.
Rizpah went to great extremes to protect the bodies of her boys. To have the bodies ravaged by birds or wild animals was considered to be the worst possible insult and desecration of the dead.
And so, Rizpah denied herself the comfort of her home, to care for the corpses of her boys.
In what way will we deny ourselves in order to guard the bodies, spirits and souls of our children? I know that many times we deny ourselves sleep when our children are sick in the night. We deny ourselves things we need when our children are in need or in "want." We deny ourselves many times for the sake of our children.

But what we also need to deny is FEAR that threatens our FAITH. We must deny the lies of the enemy that question the authority and goodness of God. We must deny evil influence and ungodly access to the minds and hearts and bodies of our children.

We know the threats that exist in this modern world. Like Rizpah, we must make a place on a rock ~ the ROCK which is Christ Jesus. We must stretch ourselves further than we ever thought possible. We must stretch our faith and increase it through the Word of God. We must fight off the birds by day and the beasts by night.

Now almost 2 weeks in the hospital, my husband and I (and visiting friends and family) pray over our son as he lies in a bed with a tube draining spinal fluid from his brain. He battles headaches and dizziness and pressure behind his eyes. I tell him he is stronger than he has ever been and when he is on the other side of this, he will have a great testimony to share. He will have a great praise to lift up. He will tell others who may walk this same road, "I know how you feel" and it will be true.

We beat off the birds of depression and sadness from Andrew's mind. We beat off the buzzards that bring negative thoughts to rest on him. We beat off the beasts of infection and cancer. We bloody their noses and we kick out their teeth. We mark off a barrier that the birds and the beasts cannot cross. We have drawn a line. And we remain on the ROCK.


  1. This is one of the most powerful posts I have ever read!!! Praise God for remaining of the rock, for healing Andrew and for the testimony Andrew will be to this lost and dying world. (((hugs)))

  2. Praise God for the courage and strength He has laid on you, Melanie! I can't phantom what you are going through with Andrew, but I know that God is in this for His purpose...you are touching lives across this nation and abroad. Your words will inspire and encourage mothers everywhere that are facing trials with their children. I continue to pray for Andrews complete healing...yes, he will have a testimony about the Lord's great love and power and he will have a story about the power of a mother's love as well. How can any of us possibly bless you more than you are blessing us! I only pray that our gift of prayer for your precious boy will be heard and answered by our almighty God. May He continue to speak to your heart and may He continue to hold Andrew in His bosom as Hedoes His mighty work in his life.

    Peace and comfort...may it be yours today.


  3. Your words today (and always) have been an inspiration to me. I have been studying the bible this morning, preparing for our Sunday School class tomorrow. We are working through Living by the Book, and I am learning to LEARN on a deeper level. The first thing I thought of when I read your post today was how everything in the bible is applicable...Even the short passages regarding Rizpah. You have eloquently shared how the bible in all of its inspiration can touch lives. I pray for Andrew frequently. I pray for your family. I praise the Lord that there is a ROCK to stand on. You are clothed in his armor, as is Andrew. What warriors you are!

    Keep fighting!

  4. Wow, such a great testimony to us all. It is amazing how God continues to use you even in your darkest hours to continually lift all of us up and to help us understand it all. I am continually praying and lifting you and your family in prayer. Andrew is going to have such an awesome testimony.
    Hugs from Texas.

  5. Melanie,
    Thanks once again for sharing such a wonderful post and testimony! It really is powerful!! It truly is amazing to see how God is working through this situation...in your life, in Andrew's and in your writing and sharing. God is good! I can hardly wait to hear what good thing He does in Andrew's life...and future!

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  7. P-O-W-E-R-F-U-L!

    Thanks once again for ministering to us Melanie.

    Your love and devotion for Lord is much like Rizpah's for her son's. You will never know how many lives you touch daily.

    Last night I attended a women's meeting and Alicia Chole taught some excellent truths.

    She touched on FEAR. She said, "reject fear with truth".

    We are not to be in alliance with fear, ever.

    I pray you can literally feel the prayer wall that is all around you and your family now.

    With much love~

  8. Your family is such a faithful, beautiful inspiration. I love you, standing on the Rock with you.

  9. Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed [it], and brake [it], and gave [it] to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
    Matthew 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave [it] to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
    Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
    Isaiah 53:5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
    Have Andrew take communion daily if he can with you and your husband.
    Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.

  10. Melanie,
    The joy of the LORD is your strength child, and it so shows in all of your posts. You are fighting the good fight of faith. I am lifting Andrew and your family up to the Father in prayer.

    Love and hugs to you dear one,

  11. Standing with you still on the ROCK in prayer for Andrew and your family. Love and blessings.


  12. Amen and amen. Beautifully said.

    Gwyn Rosser
    @ The Pink Tractor

  13. God Bless you Melanie...what a great post! You are a strong lady and a inspiration to others.
    Praying with you,

  14. On Christ the solid rock you stand, all other ground is shifting sand!


  15. This was so good, and so inspiring. I cannot imagine to know what you are going through, but I can feel your stength and faith that so obviously comes from the Lord. I am praying daily for Andrew and your whole family and I will not waver. The battle is mighty but the victory is the Lord's...Blessings, Debbie

  16. Thank you for writing this faith-filled post. Praying still.



  17. Melanie, thank you for such an inspiring post. I continue to pray for Andrew. Tell him not to give up. We are all praying for him. (HUGS)

  18. Still praying for Andrew, sweet Melanie,your husband and family ~

  19. Continuing to storm the heavens for andrew!

  20. Amen and Amen! Very powerful! Standing with you for the day Andrew is able to give his testimony of his miraculous healing!

  21. Your post is so powerful, it brings tears to my eyes! Praying for super-natural strength, that only God can provide for you and your husband, as you stand firm and strong! ...and continuing to pray for Andrew! ~Love, Rhonda :)

  22. Melanie, Sadly I confess the Old Testament is not one of my strengths. I have never read this story, but I did last night. In fact, I read it over and over again. Thank you for such inspiration. This is by far one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever had the privilege to read. Continued prayers.
    love, ginny

  23. I'm thinking of you and your family. God bless you and keep you strong. He is there.

  24. You are an inspiration to mothers everywhere, standing and believing for their children. Our prayers continue to surround you and your family, and we continue to pray for the miracle to manifest. May the peace and strength of God surround you in every moment.

  25. Lifting your family way up in my prayers, love you.

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  27. dear wonderful mom to andrew..
    i happened across your blog by "accident" several weeks ago and have been praying for andrew and your family of course, ever since.
    the writing from you today was so perfect for ME!!! here is why.
    since you asked before, i will only ask you that you pray for my daughter...sunny...who is 10 years old and was taken to an R rated movie this weekend during a birthday party...along with 6 other LITTLE girls. i say little because they are still children. now she has seen this horrible film with content one can only imagine, and i am sick about it. my husband is on his way home from work right now ( we are in asia) so that we can go see the movie and decide how to handle this!!!! i have been so protective and now this!!! i know it is not anywhere near what you are up against, but i am broken hearted about this too. i feel like i have failed my precious daughter by NOT checking every detail out before letting her go to this party. we know this family too. i need forgiveness and also to try and fix this now. i want to be a mom like you to my two girls. i failed this weekend.
    thank you for your prayers and i will continue with mine too. you are very wonderful and an inspiration. God be with you. robin

  28. Melanie,

    I pray you guys are able to leave the hospital soon and have some time at home. I stand with you on the ROCK for Andrew's healing. Today we fight.
    Sending my love to you, Andrew and your family. Barbara

  29. What a tremendous story Rizpah has, I can't believe I have never heard it! I am so sorry I missed this post when you first put it up, I was quite ill all weekend. You draw a beautiful parallel to our lives, and especially yours today! My prayer is that God will continue to strengthen you all to beat off those birds and beasts for Andrew so you can find your way back home soon!

    This was an amazing post Melanie. God bless you all!


  30. Melanie,

    I've heard so many wonderful things about you through my friend Susan. (Forever His) I can see that what she's told me is true - you are a MIGHTY woman of GOD!

    I've been where you are with my own son. (He's been "Heavenly Healed" for almost 3 years now) I just wanted to encourage you to KEEP STANDING on the WORD because our JESUS is the SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER! He IS the Great Physician and there is NOTHING TOO BIG for our GOD!

    We're praying for Andrew and your sweet family and look forward to hear about his COMPLETE EARTHLY HEALING. ☺

    ~ Love,

  31. I just found your blog, and I am praying for your son and family. I have been going thru a time of health challenges and God has instructed me to speak healing scripture over myself, and to say and believe that "I am healed, and getting better each day." Just a small part of my walk of faith. Your account of Rizpah is powerful. God's strength is a powerful force against the enemy!

  32. Melanie, Sorry to read about this situation with your son, it is so sad, and trying, to say the very, very least.

    Trying to understand the concept of "healing". Do you believe that the term "Heavenly Healing", is still considered to be a healing in Andrew's case?

  33. Melanie,
    I was reminded of the day you said in Life Group that someone's story reminded you of Rizpah and none of us had any idea who this woman was. Thankfully you shared the story then and I know that I read it for myself later that day.
    As always, we are standing with you believing for the miracle of healing you will see on this side of heaven - for the Glory of God. Continue to fight the good fight - praise God that we have lots of examples to encourage us in this battle.

    Love ya

  34. May God strengthen your heart and your spirit as you fight for your son!
    Father, thank You for the example of Rizpah, and for the hope we have that by Your strength we can fight for our children, too.
    I am asking You again to bring healing to Andrew.
    And - Yes, Lord! - I am asking that You protect his heart and spirit, as well. Help him to hear Melanie's words. Help him to believe in Your power to save, that he might have a powerful testimony when he is healed.
    Father, please hold them all close to Your heart in these dark days. Be their Light in the darkness, their Hope in the midst of despair.
    I'm asking it in the wonderful, powerful, beautiful, matchless Name of JESUS.
    Amen and amen!

  35. Crying at my computer...such power, wisdom and faith through your words. Amazing are your words through HIM!

  36. Praise God for the word and your account of Rizpah.

    Today we praise God while we have breath in our body. Today we worship the healer. As we seek His face He gives us His hand. Truly you have sought the face of God and He is giving you His peace that surpasses all understanding, love, mercy and great FAITH! I unite my faith with yours and others and Bless the name of our Lord.

    Love your sis in Christ,


  37. I just don't have many words. But have been following and praying. Love you Mel!

  38. There is not a day that goes past that I do not think of you, Andrew and your family, and when God brings you to my mind, I lift you all up to Him in prayer and faith that He will carry you through this dark valley. Just wanted you to know.

  39. Standing with you on that Rock this night...


  40. God has given Andrew a mother who is standing on the Rock who IS A ROCK! Thank you for sharing this amazing account. And for living it out for us all!

  41. Please keep up your strength and positive attitude...

    Keeping you all in my prayers.
    K. Frangeskos at
    Jesus Knows You Best

  42. Wow Mel..I will be forwarding this on to my fellow moms in my life. Beautiful truth!

  43. WOW!! What powerful words!!

    I found your blog via Lelia Chealey. Saying a prayer for your beloved boy.

    in Christs love,
    Kim from PA

  44. Praising GOD, OUR GOD and standing in faith with you for Andrew.

    I know we don't know eachother, and I'm fairly new to your blog but have been praying for you all.

    So many things have been happening in the spiritual realm that I am becoming more and more aware of.
    You could never possibly know what reading this today, has opened my eyes to.

    Keep standing,
    Keep looking uP

  45. Melanie, I remember the time I found your blog and stayed up most of the night reading all your past post, I remember this post.....somehow I knew in my heart Andrew would be healed in heaven and I wanted so much to reach out to you and let you know how hard it was going to be for you and your family but you all would get through.....I felt your pain and your Faith, I believe from the bottom of my heart that we are healed emotionally through our Faith.....Andrew is so at peace and so happy now, and you will hold him in your arms when it is your time to join him and feel the same happiness he does. I believe true happiness is in heaven, our happiness on earth is earning our way there.
    Love you.........:-) Hugs

  46. I remember this post. I loved it then too and need it more than ever now. Just last night when I got to work, things that I need to do better were rolling over in my mind and the top thing was to pray for my kids. REALLY dedicate time to pray for them. Thank you for re-posting this timely message Melanie. xo