Through the Bible Day by Day
Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.
A DEVOTED MOTHER
The time of this famine cannot be fixed with certainty. Probably it took place before Absalom’s rebellion. The reason for it was found in Saul’s slaughter of the Gibeonites. See 1Sa_22:19, etc. Though their fathers had obtained the promise of immunity from Joshua and the princes by fraud, yet it was regarded as binding, and its violation was looked upon as a grave offense, involving the whole nation in the charge of perjury. The remnant of the Gibeonites were therefore allowed to fix their own terms. This tendency to connect a national calamity with a national crime has always obtained. There seems to be a universal consciousness that uncaused judgments do not befall.
Note that Merab should be substituted for Michal, 2Sa_21:8; 1Sa_18:19. Out of all the scenes of cruelty and blood with which this age was characterized, the love of motherhood shines forth undimmed. It is one of the most precious of God’s gifts to man. But what shall we not say of that divine love which clings to us in our most hopeless condition?
And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabeshgilead, which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa:
MORE GIANTS SLAIN
It was in unsettled weather that Rizpah began her watch; but no hardship daunted her, no cost was too great. She shielded the dear remains from bird and beast till the falling rain gave assurance that the long famine was ended, 2Sa_21:10, r.v. Her devotion seems to have aroused David to treat with similar honor the remains of Saul and Jonathan, and all were buried together in the sepulcher of Kish.
Love ignites love, as fire kindles fire, without impoverishment. How often a voice raised in prayerful and passionate affection to Jesus has made volcanic fires leap out where all had seemed extinct! Do not stint your alabaster-boxes, for though they drive a Judas to desperation, they will stimulate a David or a Peter to a forgotten duty.
Monstrous sin stalked the world in the person of these giants, 2Sa_21:16-22. They beset the old age of David, as they did his youth, though we may not be assailed by the identical temptations as at first, there never will be a time when the progeny of sin will not molest us-if not passion, then jealousy, or avarice, or pride.