by Clarence E. Macartney

This content is part of a series.

Chariots of Fire (15 of 18)
Eternal Motherhood-Rizpah
Clarence E. Macartney
2 Samuel 21:10

What a strange page this is-a page torn from the
annals of the reign of David; a page blotted with what
to us seems to be superstition, cruelty, and revenge;
yet a page illuminated and beautiful with a moving
story of a mother's love and devotion, one of the
greatest ever written.

By nature David was a generous and magnanimous man.
When he received the tidings of the death of Saul,
instead of rejoicing he poured out his soul in that
noble ode in which he praised Saul for the virtues he
possessed, in spite of his faults, and lamented over
the beloved Jonathan. After Saul's death in battle
with the Philistines on Mount Gilboa, the house of
Saul waxed weaker and weaker, while the house of
David, crowned king at Hebron, waxed stronger and
stronger. Saul's able captain of the host, Abner, had
been treacherously slain by David's great captain,
Joab, and Saul's son, Ishbosheth, had been
assassinated by two of his own followers. At length
there was none left to dispute David's right to the

Secure on his throne, David, had he followed the
oriental custom and the example of other kings, would
have celebrated his triumph by a wholesale
proscription and massacre of the followers of Saul.
But instead of that what did David do? He summoned his
ministers and said to them, "Is there yet any that is
left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him
kindness for Jonathan's sake?" His royal heart was
filled with gratitude to God for fulfilling the
promise made to him by Samuel and lifting him from the
sheepfold to the throne of Israel.

When David was informed that there was left of Saul's
line a lame grandson, Mephibosheth, the son of
Jonathan, he had him brought to the court, and said to
him, "I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan
thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land
of Saul thy fa ...

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