November 2015

Michal

1 Samuel 18:20-28; 1 Samuel 19:11-17; 2 Samuel 6:16-23

David’s wife. Daughter of Saul and Ahinoam.

The Bible says that Michal loved David. But it seems that her love for him blinded her. She is changed from this loving individual into this resentful bitter and angry woman. It’s interesting to note that the Bible does not say that David loved her. However, he married her. It was almost as if he was responding to a challenge from Saul, her father. Saul said to David that in order to marry Michal he had to return with 100 foreskins of the Philistines. David took up the challenge and returned. Saul’s plan had backfired but true to his word he gave his daughter to David to marry.

She loved David so much it almost seemed as if she did not want to share him with anyone else, not even the people he served as King. The portion of the Bible where David is dancing before the Lord in the streets, she went to her husband and disrespectfully told him that his dancing in the street was shameful.
1. It appears that she did not have the same affection from David that she showered him with.

2. It seemed that she was neglected by David.
Here in some way David is at fault. The Bible urges husbands to love their wives. The Bible urges wives to submit to their husbands. My pastor’s wife said that if both parties are godly then it would be easy for both parties to submit and to love one another. Here David was not building in her the character and the willingness to submit to a loving husband. He was not nurturing in her such character because he probably really did not love her. This most likely hurt her and caused her to be angry and somewhat jealous for his affection and as a result it came out in a disrespectful manner.

It is interesting to note how before she married David she thought the world of him. She thought he was amazing. She thought he was the love of her life. But soon after they were married she’s here hurling insults at him. David responds with insults of his own. And unfortunately she was left barren pretty much until her death. Now it may be that she was barren not because she didn’t have any relations with David. Rather because their relationship had grown so callous and caustic that they were unable to reproduce and bring forth the child. Anger and hate can affect other areas of life as well. Or maybe David really didn’t just want to be with her. Big mouths can be a turn off.

We place people on pedestals and when they disappoint us, we are quick to criminalize them, kick them off, and beat them with the pedestal. This says to me that before you marry someone you tend to see them as the best thing ever. You love and adore them. But then once you have them you tend to allow the negativity from other things around you to cause you to become jealous. That should not be so.

I have no doubt that the shaky relationship between Saul and David contributed to her ever-increasing disdain of David. But what added fuel to the fire was David’s lack of attention to her. How often do we young women want and desire attention from a man and then we don’t get it so we criminalize him in our eyes and the relationship becomes caustic and almost as if we never even loved him? This is a true word of caution. By the same token David as well should have done his part to care and nurture her heart and give her the attention that she needed even as he was attending to his royal duties.

3. It seems Michal was not only jealous for David but jealous of his relationship with God.
She couldn’t understand it. She couldn’t understand why God got so much attention and so much affection from David.  My pastor’s wife said we should get our own relationship with God: “If you’re jealous of someone else’s get your own!” Which is a good point. Rather than ask David about his relationship with God and how she can get that relationship with God, she became bitter.

Before we can pursue the heart of someone else, especially of one who pursues the heart of God (because that is what David was: a man after God’s heart) we are to have a relationship with God so we can understand their passion and drive and love for God. Women can get hung up on winning “the one” or being pursued by “the one”. Our husbands should be “the two”. Isaiah 54 verse 5 says the Lord our maker is our husband. He is the One …the One that we should pursue. We should be women after God’s heart.

Soon after, the resentment between Saul and David continued to the point where Saul came to his daughter and sought to kill David. Michal’s actions somehow grew worse.
-She first told David to hide from her father.
-She then deceived the guards to think David was sick in bed.
-Then she lied to her father and told him that David had run away.
-When asked by her father why she deceived him she then lied again and said that David threatened to kill her if she did not cooperate.

Why did she do all this? She did it because she genuinely did love him. I do not doubt that she loved him. I believe she did this perhaps to show him just how much she loved him. By doing so she put her relationship with her father on the line. It seems that she was having issues between being loyal to her husband and being loyal to her father. The Bible says that men and women are to leave their parents and to cleave to one another. Perhaps she felt like she was the only one cleaving in her relationship with David. In lying to her father she not only helped David get a head start in running away but she also tried to save herself. Her loyalties were split between two men that she cared for and loved.

For 14 years David was away from Michal. She became more bitter probably from hearing the news that David had married someone else. And also because he didn’t return or send for her for 14 years. All she ever wanted was David’s attention and affection. All she ever wanted was her love to be reciprocated. Nothing hurts more than unrequited love. And clearly unrequited love can turn one into a very bitter, lonely, godless soul if one does not give in to God, submit to Him, and pursue Him.

So what can we learn from Michal?

  1.  Do not let love blind you.
    Michal was so in love with David that she did not realize that she was merely a prize to win at the end of beating the Philistines and Saul at their own game. She did not realize that the love she gave David would not be reciprocated. Love can quickly turn to hate. How true it is in the case of Michal. When he did not return it she quickly hated him. She was the daughter of a King but she did not know her worth. You are the daughter of the Most High King. Know your worth.
  2. Do not put love for a man above God.
    When David’s duties came calling, he answered. Michal grew lonely and angry and depressed all because of one man. He was pursuing God’s heart and she was pursuing David’s heart. Wrong! How lovely if they both pursued God and then won each other over because of their united pursuit. If Michal had asked David about this relationship with God rather than getting jealous of it, perhaps she would have realized that the Most High God, her Maker was her husband. (Isaiah 54:5). Perhaps she would have grown confident in God and could care less what David thought of her. Maybe even God would have had pity on her and had a serious talk with David about how he is treating this woman who loves him so much.
  3. Love is beautiful and powerful.
    Dare to love as Michal loved — to the point of defying her father. That kind of love is crazy but somehow still beautiful. Her love was selfless until it became selfish. Love is great when it is not rooted in lust, infatuation, or self-fulfillment. Learn to love as God wants you to love and your love story will be beautiful.

For more on Michal, check out these parallel passages:  1 Sam 14:49-50
1 Sam 18:25-27, 28-29; 1 Sam 19:11-17; 1 Sam 14:49; 18:20-28; 19:11-17; 25:44; 2 Sam 3:13, 14; 6:16-23; 21:8; 1 Chronicles 15:29

– Eruore Oboh

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