Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Miserable Michal

Today's passage:  II  Samuel 6
     David's wife, Michal, did not have the advantage of reading many of the verses in Proverbs.  But I believe she had the examples of many women who had gone before her. I'm sure that those women told her how a wife ought to behave.  Solomon may have observed Michal's behavior, or many of his father's wives, years before God chose him to write these words.   He also had the experience of having numerous wives himself, and I'm guessing that probably a few of those thousand fell into these categories:
"A foolish woman is clamorous:  she is simple, and knoweth nothing."  Proverbs 9:13
"A jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion."  Proverbs 11:22 
  "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband:  but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones."  Proverbs 12:4 
"It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house."  Proverbs 21:9
"It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman."  Proverbs 19:19
"It is better to dwell in a the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house."  Proverbs 25:24
"A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike."  Proverbs 27:15
"For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear:...For an odious woman when she is married..."  Proverbs 30:21, 23a
     Am I the only one who has ever been a Michal?  I hope I am not alone in this.  I hope, however, I am alone in how often I have been like her.  David's love for God is enthusiastic.  His love for God is sometimes uncontained.  The ark of God is about to arrive.  David's excitement is at fever pitch.  He starts to dance and sing with the people.  He is handing out bread, meat and wine by way of celebration.  He is so happy to finally have the ark of God back where it belongs.  Is it no wonder David is zealously celebrating?  He abandons his kingly robes in favor of being like one of the commoners.  This day, he is making a point that they are all alike.  And in God's eyes, they are.  He wants the people he rules over to understand that when it comes to Jehovah worship, they all come to God the same way.
David Celebrates Before the Ark--Taken from Treasures of the Bible
By Henry Davenport Northrop, D. D.
International Publishing Company, 1894
     Michal has been watching.  She is embarrassed and humiliated by David's behavior.  I think she may be a little jealous too.  For some reason, she can not join in his abandon.  She can not throw off her reserve and allow herself to be so free.  She wants to maintain control.  Always control.
     When David arrives home, had she greeted him differently, he might have swooped her up in his arms and swung her around, carrying her out into the street and dancing with her.  Instead, it is like being slapped in the face.  She reviles him.  She glares at him.  She rolls her eyes and sneers at what she deems a disgusting display.  Can you imagine his bewilderment?  Moments before, he was dancing and celebrating, at the height of worship, and in a few seconds he is plunged into ridicule.  Perhaps, this is why God allowed Saul to break his promise to David.  Perhaps, God knew that Michal would be a hindrance to David and allowed Saul to marry her off to that other fellow.  It was David's choice to go after her when he became king.  It was David's choice to have his servants fetch her.  I think God knew better.  David feels his bones rotting already.  How sad!  What was Michal's problem?  Because David did not worship God the way she felt it was to be done?  When did she ever give God worship anyhow?  And when did she become the expert on how worship should be demonstrated?
     I'm sorry to say, I have too often been like this contentious, brawling woman.  She did not have access to  the many verses in Proverbs that I have.  What is my excuse?  When did I become my husband's Holy Spirit?  When did I have divine revelation from God as to all things spiritual?  When did I become his mother?  I can read Michal's response to her husband and think, "If she would have just let him celebrate."  If she couldn't do so herself, let him have his moment.  Why do so many of us feel compelled to make our husband's do things in what we think is the right way?  And what is David's reaction to Michal?  Her behavior does not achieve the desired result.  I'm trying to think of any time that I have talked to my husband disrespectfully and it produced a closer walk in our marriage.  No, I may have gotten my way at times, but not without resistance or without eroding my husband's authority.  Why do I always feel I am right, and he is wrong?  I am always wrong when I am not submitting to him.  I have come a long way from our first years of marriage, when all I ever did was bark and expect him to follow my orders like a drill sergeant and his cadet.  But I have a very long way to go.  I'm sure the people nearby who heard Michal's derision of their king, rolled their eyes and thought, "Here she goes again."  How awful.  Michal was not earning respect as their queen.  She may have thought this attack would change the people's hearts towards their king, but she was diminishing respect for herself.
     Michal is exactly the wife men do not want to have.  Michal is exactly the woman I do not want to be.  She is that drip drip of rain.  She is the brawler whose voice echoes throughout the palace.  Who wants to be her?  Raising and waving my hand wildly here, "I don't, I don't."
     "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD."  Proverbs 18:22


  1. As Christian wives, I hope it is our utmost hope to be our husband's "crowning glory." But hoping & actually doing are two different animals. I strive daily to be pleasing to my husband & in so doing that I will also be pleasing to God. Excellent post Stephanie! Thank you.

  2. "When did I become my husband's Holy Spirit?"

    Now, that one got me. I have been guilty of being a Michal. Like you, I've grown a lot in this area over the years, but control has always been an issue for me. I'm glad for the sweet grace I've known through my husband. He's my prize, and I want to love him the way he deserves.

    PS: My book isn't a new one... just the kindle version of it! How I'd love to get another one in print though. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Great post....and just goes with my post on 50th anniversary and probably why so many aren't making it to that mark. I can only make it to that mark, if God keeps us alive and I continue to submit to the Lord, while He creates in me a submissive heart to my husband.

    As my daughter enters into a relationship that might result in marriage we have discussed some of these same things. As I told her the other day..."you can't change anyone, only God can" and yet how many times have I been the Holy Spirit or asked for change from her father. God again reminded me of the points you have written today.

    As for David dancing...well I never want to judge another's worship before the Lord...I hope and pray I will learn to enter into the worship and not miss the chance...look what she missed.

  4. Ashamedly I confess I have been this wife.....repentantly, and gratefully, I go forward in His grace to do better to support my husband tomorrow ....excellent words of exhortation and encouragement!!!!keep it coming!


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