A Life That Sings: Michal ~ Lessons in Bitterness, Part 3

The last time Scripture speaks of Michal, David has become King.  The Lord has fulfilled His promise to David and puts him on the throne ~ the anointed King of Israel.  The first act David performs is to inquire of the Lord by calling for the Ark of the Covenant, which represents God’s presence, to be brought back to Israel.

David is so thankful for the return of the Ark; he dances in the presence of the Lord as the ark is ushered back to Jerusalem.  David understood drawing near to God, and practiced the presence of God; unfortunately, this idea was foreign to Michal.  David longed for the presence of God and knew he could not live or make it without the presence of God.  The presence of God was life to him.  Michal just could not get it; if she had only drawn near to God, her heart would not have been in this condition.  It does not mean she would not have hurt or remember the pain she suffered, but her heart would be pliable in God’s hand.

So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.  Then it happened as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.  So they brought in the ark of the LORD and set it in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. 2 Samuel 6: 15-17 NASB

Why did she despise him?  In part, she felt the actions of David were not becoming or dignified for the new King of Israel.  She was embarrassed at his actions; in her eyes, he looked foolish.  She accuses him of undressing himself in front of the maidens; attempting to turn his good to evil.  The rejection is creeping back in her from her past hurts and she is jealous that he would cause the maidens to want him.  Michal is the only one who sees this event through the eyes of jealousy, fear, and rejection.  Everyone but Michal accepted David’s actions.  He was dancing and praising before the Lord; bringing Israel back into relationship with God and showing the people how to access the Presence of God.  He invites them to join him in his love and worship of the Lord.  Michal’s heart was so hardened; she could not see and reverence the presence of God.

When we allow ourselves to be bitter, we cannot stand in the presence of the Lord; we grow to despise others who are in His presence, because we cannot understand how they can be happy.  The enemy uses the hurts we will not release to distort our vision, and we look through the glasses of bitterness, fear, jealousy, and anger.  We have to let them go.

In everything David has been through and endured, the heartache he has suffered at the hand of Saul, he could still reach inside and praise God.  Through everything, he loved and trusted God and could praise God no matter what came his way.  David could because he understood the importance of drawing near to the presence of the Lord.  That is the only way we will survive.  Michal could not do that.  She could not understand how he could dance and shout before the Lord, because she did not have a heart for God and she did not understand the power of His presence and the importance of the Ark (God’s presence) resting again in Israel.

Michal did not have to remain biter.  Even now, instead of despising David, she could have embraced him.  She could have chosen to esteem him and love him for loving the Lord.  She could have let go everything and given the Lord her heart.  Grace was there knocking at her door yet one more time, beckoning her to the grace and the love of God.  The very presence of God was there and she despised it instead of welcoming it.  When we release the hurts, pains, and disappointments we empty our hearts of bitterness and allow the Lord to fill up our hearts with Himself.

Further, he distributed to all the people, to all the multitude of Israel, both to men and women, a cake of bread and one of dates and one of raisins to each one.  Then all the people departed each to his house.  But when David returned to bless his household, Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel distinguished himself today!  He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!”  So David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel; therefore I will celebrate before the LORD.  I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished.” 2 Samuel 6: 19-22 NASB

Why does the Bible in this account refer to Michal as the daughter of Saul?  At this point we are all aware of whom her father is.  I believe this was purposely written by the Holy Spirit to remind us of who Michal really was.  She could have been David’s wife, a woman of wisdom, grace, and a woman who loved the Lord.  She decided to be a woman of bitterness, unforgiveness, and anger.  She was definitely Saul’s daughter.  The Word begins with referring to her as Michal, Saul’s daughter and that is how it ends, she never changed from being Saul’s daughter.  Saul could have been a great king; Saul and Michal allowed fear, jealousy, and hatred to rule their hearts.  All they could see was their hurts and needs, driven by fear that everything they held dear would be snatched away.

David reminded her of who he was.  What he says here is; “I will worship.  You will not keep me from being who God ordained me to be.  You can live in bitterness and hatred, but I choose to worship out of my pain.  You may despise me, but the very ones you spoke of will esteem me.” (My paraphrase) When we worship in our pain, it is a sweet smelling sacrifice in the nostrils of God.  We use our toil and tears to build a sacrifice of worship in the presence of the Lord.  That is what David did and he rebuked her for being bitter and ashamed of him.  Now David was able to see into her heart, and he tells her so.

I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished.” (v. 22)

In other words, you may despise me, but those who recognize that I love God and that I have a heart that follows after Him, will bless me even if you chose not to.  She chose to have a hard heart instead of letting God heal her heart.

The Bible gives once last glimpse into Michal’s demise caused by her bitterness; the Bible says:

Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.  2 Samuel 6:23 NASB

Many believe that God shut her womb; I do not discount that, however, that is not what the Scripture says.  The Scripture is consistent as to when God opened or shut a woman’s womb.  I believe she did not have any children because David saw her heart toward him and he could no longer be intimate with her.  I believe David never called for her again.  She lived out a very lonely and bitter existence until she died.

This is a lesson for us to let go of every hurt, every disappointment and heartache, and let the Lord take over our heart.  He has so much to fill our hearts with, but if we allow those things to stay in our heart, we will begin to despise that which is of God and to despise others who have tapped into the blessing that God has given them.  We despise true worship.  We despise others who are able to put their trust in God and not allow the trials of life overtake them.  We will live a lonely, bitter life until we die.  We will never give birth to what the Lord wants us to do.  We will not be fertile to conceive the things God wants to impart into us.

We all have hurts.  We all have suffered loss.  Circumstances happen that we will not always understand.  We all have had people hurt us, use us, abuse us, lie on us, back-stab us, and let us down.  We all have had trials and seasons when we thought we were not going to make it; we did.  We can choose this day how we will react to these circumstances.

See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; Deuteronomy 30:15 NASB

Choose life.  Do not choose death as Michal did.

Close your eyes and see the Lord Jesus standing before you, arms wide open, calling to you to let it go:

Let go of the hurts and let Me heal your heart.  Let go of the unforgiveness.  I have so much to give you, but I cannot because you are holding on to what needs to be let go.  I will hold you and comfort you.  I will heal you.  I will never leave you or forsake you.  I will heal your broken heart.  Just let Me.  I see you, says the Lord, carrying so much; if you will keep walking towards Me, it will fall off of you.  My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.  Let it go.  Let it go.

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