Michal- The Critic 2 Samuel 3:16 Adapted from a Davon Huss sermonhttp://www.sermoncentral.com/print_friendly .asp?ContributorID=&SermonID=43377
2 Samuel 3:12 NIV Then Abner sent messengers on his behalf to say to David,“Whose land is it? Make an agreement with me, and I will help you bring all Israel over to you.” 13 “Good,” said David. “I will make an agreement with you. But I demand onething of you: Do not come into my presence unless you bring Michal daughter of Saul when you come to see me.”
14 Then David sent messengers to Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, demanding, “Give memy wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for the price of a hundred Philistineforeskins.” 15 So Ish-Bosheth gave ordersand had her taken away from her husbandPaltiel son of Laish. 16 Her husband went along behind her, weeping all the way to Bahurim. Finally Abner said to him, "Go back home!" So he went back.
A practicing lawyer loved to attack his opponents through letters printed in newspapers. In 1842, he ridiculed the wrong man. James Shields did not take kindly to the anonymous writer who lampooned him in the Springfield Journal.Mr. Shields tracked down the attorney who had publicly embarrassed him and challenged him to a duel. The man was awriter, not a fighter, but he could not get out of the duel without losing his honor.
He was given the choice of weapons and chose swords in hopes of using his long arms to his advantage. He trained with aWest Point graduate as he prepared to fight to the death. On the appointed day he met Mr. Shields on a sandbar in the Mississippi River. At the last minute their friends intervened and convinced the men to stopthe duel. The lawyer returned to his practice as a changed man.
Never again did he openly criticize anyone.In fact, years later when he heard his wife criticize the southern people of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln said,“Don’t criticize them; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances.” Do you have a critical spirit? Lincoln did, but he changed. Make the change today so you, like Lincoln, can be known more for your tolerance than your criticism.
A few Sundays back we talked aboutJudges. The last judge was Samuel. When Samuel was starting to get old, the peoplebegan to ask for a king. The Lord answered the people’s request and the first king was Saul. Saul started out good but in the end,he was a jealous maniac. God started overwith little David. After his defeat of Goliath, David was a great commander in Saul’s army. Saul became jealous of him.
Story of David and Michal David and Saul’s daughter Michal fell in love. King Saul agreed to give Michal to David in marriage, if David would kill 100Philistines. David kills 200 Philistines andSaul is forced to give Michal in marriage to David. One time Saul sent soldiers to David’s house to kill him.
Michal warned David of her father’s plans.Michal put an idol in their bed and disguisedit as David. Michal told the men outside that David could not be disturbed because he was ill. During the delay, David snuck out through a window and escaped. Finally,David was forced to flee into the wilderness to get away from King Saul.
Saul continually hunted him down to kill him. While David was in the wilderness, King Saul forced his daughter Michal to marry another man named Paltiel.After King Saul dies, David returns to Judah and the people of Judah declare him their king. A son of Saul, Ish-bosheth, reigned in the north while David reigned in the south.
However, the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker while the house of David grew stronger and stronger. Abner, the commander of the army of the north, decides to ally himself with David. The verses we read show David demanding,“Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for the price of a hundred Philistine foreskins.”
Ish-bosheth agrees and Abner makes sureit is completed so that he can go with David. So Michal rejoins David in Jerusalem as his wife. You’ve got to feel for the husband having his wife taken from him. 2 Samuel 3:16 NIV Her husband, however, went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go back home!” So he went back.
Michal was David’s first love and it was a good political move. Aligning of the houseof David with the house of Saul. It was good for Michal because now she would be the First Lady of David’s White House.
Good lesson for us. If any disagreement has separated a husband and wife, let them be reconciledthrough the power of God, and live together in love. This is the will of God. He hates divorce and this is the ideal. It should have turned out well, but it didn’t.
2 Samuel 6:12 NIV Now King David wastold, “The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went down and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. 13 When those who were carrying the ark of the LORD had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf.
14 David, wearing a linen ephod, dancedbefore the LORD with all his might, 15 whilehe and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets. 16 As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King Davidleaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.
2 Samuel 6:20 NIV When David returned home to bless his household, Michaldaughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel hasdistinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”
21 David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when heappointed me ruler over the LORDS peopleIsrael—I will celebrate before the LORD. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my owneyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” 23 And Michaldaughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.
It has been a long road for David. God hadbrought him all the way from the sheep pento the palace. Finally the house of Saul was no more and David was declared King of the land. Now he was bringing the Ark of the Covenant into the tabernacle in his capital city of Jerusalem. What a glorious day of celebration and of worship.
Without his kingly robe and crown, David danced with all his might before the Lord. Years of longing and waiting had finally come to an end. God had blessed hispeople, and the king did not contain his joy. He even commanded others to join withhim. 1 Chronicles 15:16 NIV David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs,accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals.
David appointed singers and musicians toaccompany the celebration as they entered Jerusalem. He was determined that everyone would know of this wonderfulmoment. The streets must have been filled with cheering crowds as the king danced and praised his way into the city. And he comes home to this, a bitter, sour, and embarrassed wife.
The same attitudes that kept her from joining her husband in celebrating God’sblessings are keeping thousands from that same enjoyment today. We could just explain this away and say that David and Michal came from different school of worship. People who want things to be reverent. People who want things to bejoyful. There is tension between these two types of people, but much more than just tension here.
Let’s examine Michal’s problems so that we do not repeat them. She was a critic and nobody likes a critic. A critic is a person who tears down other people’s attempts at something new and different. They don’t do anything adventurous but they have many stinging words for those who try to do something adventurous or different.
David through God had done some marvelous things.1. Full possession of the land.2. Moral order was restored.3. Material prosperity.4. Spiritual life was at an all time high.5. Israel’s worship took center stage. David had it in his heart to build a grand temple for God.
At the height of his excitement andachievements, we have Michal who critizes. No matter how well things are going, there are always the critics. King David had to deal with criticism in almost every chapter of his life, yet he managed every reproachwith coolness beyond compare. No wonder God made him King.
May we be one of those who rejoice in thegood fortunes of others. May we not be oneof those who spread misery. I am miserable and I want everyone to be miserable with me. Philippians 4:8 NET Finally, brothers andsisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.
When you come right down to it, your life and what you do with it begins and ends with God. There is no escaping that fact. If you are not happy about where you are inlife, it is because you are not celebrating thevictories that God has brought into your life. Everyone who is a Christian has shared a victory with our awesome God!
Being born again is a victory you have shared with the Lord! We need to becelebrating the victories that we see in other people’s lives. Michal had a hard life. Her love was torn. Her father used her.
The reality is that criticism and opposition will drive you somewhere. Let it drive you closer to God and you will become better.Let it drive you away from God and you will become bitter. (Dan Southerland)This is what happened to Michal. Through her life she became bitter not better.Nobody loves the critic, neither did David.She is even becoming more like her father, not less like him.
She accuses David of associating with low lifes, because she feels superior to everyone else. Michal accuses David of gallivanting with the commoners, as if somehow there aresome people in this world that are lower life forms than others are. David stands up forhimself. David has been selected to replace Saul, and that has added to Michal’s sorrow.
David is saying, “God chose me, so wakeup and smell the coffee. I will celebrate and humble myself before Him and His people. I’m going to keep on dancing with everyone!” In God’s eyes, are any of us any different from others? We are all sinners in need offorgiveness. The ground is level at Calvary. If you don’t go to Jesus Christ with those thoughts, Jesus will not meet your need.
Who went to Jesus seeking healing? Only those who were sick and wanted healing. Same with us.Most of the Pharisees never went to Jesus. Why? Because they felt they were better than other men. They didn’t need Jesus. Must confess that we are sinners, thelowest of the low, and then Jesus can help us. Jesus was called the friend of taxcollectors and sinners. Are you a sinner? If you think not, then you are not a friend of Jesus.
I will become even more undignified than this. David will humble himself before God more and more, because he knows heneeds help. The proud and arrogant believe they need nothing and so God gives them nothing. On Judgement Day, they will go into Hell because they did not need anything from God. May we see ourselves as we truly are.
Each minute Michal had to wait only added to her anger as she mulled over just how she would dress down her already undressed spouse. Her mind scrolledthrough the names of the people who saw him in the streets- people beneath her status. If you had tried to remind her that the return of the Ark of the Covenant was the real issue, I doubt you would have made much headway.
No, this is about decorum and culture. This was about pride and position. This wasabout having to face the next meeting of the Jerusalem Ladies Auxiliary after they hadall watched her hubby boogying in his royal underwear. This kind of angry judgment has silenced plenty of believers through the centuries. Sang too loud, raised hands too high, amened too often.
Michal was just the first in a long line of "church police" who see it as their missionin life to insure that praising, if done at all, is done with refinement and propriety. However, David was celebrating with and for the Lord. To David, terms like "humiliated" and "undignified" were badges of honor, not shame. He was celebrating because he had received so much.
How much have you received from the Lord? If nothing, you will have nothing to celebrate about. However, if you believethat every good and perfect gift comes fromGod, then you cannot help but to get up and dance every once in a while. Proud and arrogant people have nothing to celebrate but themselves. Christian people haveeverything to celebrate because we have all spiritual, material, social blessings in the Lord.
She was looking around instead of lookingup. She kept her eyes on others instead of on God. God wants us to be bold in our witness forHim. If we are looking up, we will be bold. If we are looking around, we will be worried what others will think. Those who aredancing have no time to criticize others. Not concerned about that, only want to dance.
Look up in your course of action. When wepray and study about a particular issue, andknow this would be good for us, do not look who is pleased or displeased. Do not lookfor man’s applause, only the applause from heaven.Look up for your confidence. They may call you a hair-brained fanatic, a Jesus freak. Who cares? Let your faith rest in the smile of God, not in the approval of man.
Look up and God will judge your motives.Look around and people will always give as bad a reason as they can for a goodperson’s actions. We will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; do not careabout the judgment seat of man. I think that sometimes the Christian should have very much the same bravado against the judgment of men as David’s response to Michal.
Who cares what you or others think, what does God think? Look up and no personcan have control over you to lead you. We are to be lead by Jesus Christ. If we compared our lives to a computer,who has the keyboard? Do we have controlof the keyboard and let Jesus type our lives or do other people have control of the keyboard.
If we don’t have control of the keyboard, weneed to take it back. Do not let anyone have control over you, but press forward in the Christian race, looking to Jesus, and looking to Jesus only for guidance and direction.
Where was Michal when David was in thewilderness? David may have told her not tocome, but what about when her father was forcing her to marry this other man. I am sure that David would have taken her in then. Perhaps she did not want to go into the wilderness. That would have meant humiliation in the eyes of others. When was the last time people were embarrassed by you but Your Father in heaven was smiling?
God’s children are some of the most criticized and most critical people in the world. Christians just can’t win. We spend all week being ridiculed by those we are trying to lead to Christ, then just when wethink we are going to get a break, some wellmeaning brother or sister in Christ spend 15 or so minutes admonishing us about something or another.
Everything in life has a critic, and we willmore often be put down, rather than built upas we live in this world. What makes all thedifference is how we handle our faultfinders. Will we keep on dancing like David, or will we take a seat like Michal? David kept on dancing, may we do the same.