Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏩ ⏹️
Richard McBee, David Dancing 1998, Aucoin Collection
And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.
— 2 Samuel 6:16
As if to emphasise and consolidate in the minds of the reader the difference between king Saul and king David, Saul's daughter Michal, one of David's (growing number of) wives echoes her father's contempt for David, showing the small-mindedness and self-centredness of the first royal family, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants! 1 Where Michal is concerned with decorum, appearance, and what the neighbours might think, David is only concerned with celebrating the greatness of God, in whatever way he can, loudly, enthusiastically, joyfully.
This day of bringing the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem, its new and permanent home, is not about David at all, not about kings, not about the nobility or dignity of men—and certainly not about Michal—but only about God and His covenant with His people, and how from this day onward, the covenant will be upheld once again. Knowing this deep in his soul, David can do nothing else but celebrate, can feel only unabashed joy. Michal, hard-hearted and narrow-visioned can feel only shame.
How we suffer when we bind ourselves in the opinions of others, when we put our neighbours' judgment above God's, above our own sense of integrity and truth. Here is another example of worshipping a false idol. Poor Michal, her disdain bounces right off David, and turns back on herself, Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.2 Resentment towards another, I am reminded, is like taking poison and expecting someone else to die.
1 2 Samuel 6:20
2 2 Samuel 6:23