Ever felt as if your love for others is seen as a weakness, your joy in the midst of trial as ignorance, your peace in the fury viewed suspicious, your kindness as flirting, or your zealous praise for our God and Savior unusual? As Christians these characteristics are common when we trust and rely on God for strength, peace and direction, but those who aren’t Christ followers can easily misinterpret them because they don’t understand the power of faith and God’s love.
In 1 Samuel 6:14-16, we find David rejoicing as the Ark of the Lord returns to the city of David to finally be placed inside the tent David prepared for it. In verse 14 it says, “David was dancing with all his might before the Lord wearing a linen ephod.” I love to imagine what someone dancing with “all of their might” looks like. It reminds me of a video I shared years ago of my son on the beach doing his happy dance.
In 1 Chronicles 15:27-28 it even tells us that, “All Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouts, the sound of the ram’s horn, trumpets and cymbals, and the playing of harps and lyres.” What a celebration it must have been to finally have the ark of the Lord among them once again. However, when you continue in the verses you see that on his David’s wives (Saul’s daughter, Michal), “looked down from the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart.” (v.29)
There are a few different reasons that scholars believe Michal looked upon David in disgust. First, she may have been angry that when David returned after Saul’s death to lead Israel, he had Michal taken from her second husband and returned to him (since Saul gave David Michal in marriage years earlier). Second, she may have seen his behavior as vulgar as she states in the verses below.
When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”
However, another reason given for her disgust is that she was may not have had a sincere faith in God. We see in 1 Samuel 19:13, “The Michal took the household idol and put it on the bed, placed some goat hair on its head, and covered it with a garment.”
I the latter had more to do with Michal’s disgust at David’s praise explosion than anything else. So often, when we are judged for our faith, confidence and trust in God it’s by others who do not share the same level of faith that we do. We understand God’s hand is in every detail and try to confidently live in His divine plan. However, those who do not have a strong faith (or any faith at all) may see it as a weakness, vulnerability or just simply not understand, so they find it odd. I believe that is where Michal was. She may have even had a bit of jealously in her heart for the love and faith David had in God. All that said, never be discouraged when you are judged, for you are in good company. Get out there and trust with all your might, praise with all your might, believe with all your might and show off your faith with all of your might.
21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” 23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death. 2 Samuel 6:20-23