Responsible Responses

2 Samuel 6:16  Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.

Being married is difficult at times. The qualities about David that Michal first fell in love with were the same qualities she later came to despise.  David was handsome, heroic, and had a heart for God.  Maybe Michal misunderstood the focused devotion David had for God.  Maybe she had hoped she would be able to help him redirect that devotion towards herself. 

Michal had suffered quite a few disappointments in her married life.  Her father used her as bait for a trap in order to catch the man she loved (1 Sam. 18:17-29).  David was able to work through that and Michal ended up as his wife.  Then her father kept trying to kill her husband.  I daresay that doesn’t lead to a nice honeymoon.  Then her father stole her from her husband and gave her to another man.  David eventually got her back (2 Sam. 3:14-16), but by then he had several other wives.  Not quite the picture I’m sure she had in mind.

The resentment and bitterness she felt towards David finally came to a head on the day the ark was brought into Jerusalem.  There he was, her husband, leading the parade, leaping and dancing in his joy before the Lord, as she watched him from a palace window.   She thought he was being excessive and most likely felt embarrassed by this excessive behavior.  She confronted him with derision.  It may be understandable for her to feel frustration and bitterness but her timing and target was all wrong.  Instead of getting her husband’s attention, she demeaned his faith. 

It’s important to remember that we are not to judge whether someone else’s devotion to God is true or not.  God Himself will weed out the tares.  We cannot excuse our bad attitudes because of injustices, hardships, and unfulfilled expectations.  We are responsible for our responses. 

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7 thoughts on “Responsible Responses

  1. RichardD says:

    I think Michal was a Southern Baptist and viewed dancing as the greatest of all sins. – My mother actually had a very hard time with David’s dancing. She viewed dancing, and artificial hair color, and going to movies as the greatest of all sins. So knowing that a man after God’s own heart had danced gave her more difficulty than the knowledge that David had 1,000 wives and concubines.

    Your final paragraph is foundational. I’m going to link to this post. Thanks again.

  2. Sandy says:

    LOL, Richard, I completely understand about your mom. I’ve been there done that! I remember struggling with Psalm 150 and it’s injunctions to use timbrel, and loud cymbals, clashing cymbals and dance to praise God. Thank God, I’m free of that. (Mostly because I love to dance 🙂 ). Of course, I’m Southern Baptist now so no dancing in church but no longer independent, fundamental, KJV 1611 only. 🙂 – maybe I should write a post on priase from Psalm 150. 🙂

  3. Lynn says:

    I struggled for a long time with David’s sin with Bathsheeba. It took me quite some time to realize that the same grace God gave to David who was in need of it, he gives to me, and I also need it.

  4. RichardD says:

    Sandy – I think you and I must have similar backgrounds. I was raised Independent Fundamental Baptist. I am now attending a Southern Baptist Church but do not consider myself a Southern Baptist. And I, too, have struggled with the cognitive dissonance that loudly arises when reading scripture through the lens of man-made rules.

    Regarding Psalm 150 – I wrote an article about Psalm 150 when I was attending an Independent Fundamental Baptist approved college (Baptist Bible College of Clark Summit, Pennsylvania). While researching the issues related to that article, I found out that more than half of the instruments mentioned in the Bible as being related to the praise of God are percussion instruments—a class of instruments kept well away from all worship in Independent Fundamental Baptist circles.

    Just recently I had a discussion with another church musician about volume and how best to handle the apparent desire of the instrumentalists to increase volume during climactic portions of the music. This musician argued that we need to be particularly careful not to get too loud, which might upset some of the older people in the congregation. I argued that our concerns about volume, style of music, presentation, quality, etc., all needed to be directed at what God wants rather than at what the congregation wants. Then we need to educate the congregation about true worship in the realm of congregational music.

    The day after that discussion I encountered a fabulous verse in my personal devotions that deals directly with the volume of music when praising God:

    Nehemiah 12:43 – And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.

    I love it when the Bible so clearly presents the answer to our questions.

  5. Sandy says:

    Yes, Richard, our backgrounds do sound similar, though I wasn’t raised a Christian. I became a Christian as a young adult and chose the fundamental way. I thought it was the right way. We raised our kids in that tradition and as I think I’ve already mentioned, both boys are graduates of PCC as is my husband. I actually became conservative for a fundamentalist – wearing the covering etc. Praise God He has moved me out of that bondage and fear.

    I absolutely LOVE this verse from Nehemiah!!!

    We never had drums or percussive instruments and this was part of the problem I had with Psalm 150. I love how it not only states clashing cymbals but LOUD cymbals. 🙂 Now, of course, I even occasionally listen to 70’s oldies without even a Christian message (gasp). 🙂

    The church we attend offers a wide variety of music from the old hymns and southern gospel, spirituals, classical, to comtemporary praise. We even have a youth praise team who are not very quiet. I play the clarinet in our orchestra and we have drums, too. I love it. My husband doesn’t but he acknowledges that it’s a matter of preference not Biblical commands.

    I agree that it’s wonderful when the Bible presents the answers to our questions.

  6. RichardD says:

    Sandy – We enjoy the mix of people and the mix of music at our church. We have a wide variety of ages with the bell curve weighed heavily in the retired and above age-range. We have a blended worship style that includes traditional hymns sung in a traditional manner with piano and organ and a worship team that has musicians that range from college age to late 60s. Our worship team presents a wide variety of music from soft jazz stylings to mild album rock/FM rock/alternative. I love playing bass with this group – it’s a lot of fun and everyone seems to have a humble spirit and a true desire to worship God rather than a desire to perform.

    The interesting thing is that the wide age range doesn’t cause any distress to the eclectic musical genres we present. During the school year we are loaded with college students and all year long we are loaded with retirees (as loaded as a church of about 300 people can get, that is) and everyone gets involved and seems to enjoy all of the various styles of music. This is not how I was raised and my parents, while proud of me in general as a musician, are not particularly fond of some of the music at our church when they visit. But they see people older than they are singing out and really getting into the music. It’s really great when you can break out of the restrictive mold of extra-biblical traditionalism.

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