This Day in History: 0000-03-29

March 29 – 2 Samuel 6:16-23 

But as the Ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the lord, she was filled with contempt for him.
They brought the Ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And David sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Then he gave to every Israelite man and woman in the crowd a load of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people returned to their homes.
When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!”
David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrated before the Lord. Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! But those servant girls you mentioned will indeed think I am distinguished!” So Michal, daughter of Saul, remained childless throughout her entire life. 

How little has changed since this time when Michal, the daughter of Saul, and first wife of King David looked in disgust upon the whole-hearted worship of another because it seemed undignified to her! Every time I hear a believer pass judgement on the worship of another I am reminded of this story.  

Michal’s father, King Saul, spent his life quite concerned with his own dignity and power. His time spent as king was not marked by obedience to God, but rather with an insistence on doing it his own way. So it really is not all that surprising that David’s humility would rub her the wrong way. 

King David, on the other hand, is a wonderful example of a true worshipper. From his raw, honest, and praise-filled psalms we find the heart God declared to beat after His own. David’s example shows us that God isn’t interested in our pretense. He’s not impressed by our show. Feigned perfection is not His desire from us. Our “dignity” is not His goal. 

No, each of those things seem appealing only to our own pride. 

Like David, when we truly worship the Lord, we will be willing to suffer humiliation for His Name.  Our celebration of Him and His mighty works will supersede our own stature. We won’t seek to look dignified, but to give our whole selves over to His praise. In so doing, we may appear foolish to those who think themselves above such a display, but in the eyes of our fellow worshippers, as in the eyes of the Lord we glorify, we will seem quite distinguished! 

Michal, daughter of Saul, paid the price for her haughty judgement in the form of a childless existence. Her pride sealed the fate of her family, ensuring the line of King Saul would have no heir on the throne of Israel. May her example serve as a very stern warning to us. May we never look down on anyone who is willing to look “foolish” in whole-hearted worship of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Instead, may we strip off our own robes of pride and join them as we leap and dance together before our God!