“How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked. . . .”
Michal had grown up in the house of Saul, Israel’s first king. Maybe she never saw her father acting in a way that seemed “unkingly.” Maybe she thought that royalty should distinguish themselves from the common people. Perhaps Michal wanted David to act like the father she knew rather than the man he was.
She seems to have been embarrassed that her husband the king was dancing in such an undignified way. After all, shouldn’t David think about her reputation as well?
David did not miss a beat in his response. Perhaps with a sparkle in his eye and a sly voice, he said, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord.” He also declared that he would become even more undignified—and even humiliated—if that’s what it would take to celebrate and honor the Lord while serving as king.
In this way David put the Lord first when even a close family member criticized him. Sometimes people do not know how to handle the joy of the Lord. David showed that he believed it was right to celebrate with all your heart in the worship of God. As the early church leader Irenaeus put it, “The glory of God is a human fully alive.”
Father God, thank you for giving us David as a model to follow in celebrating you. May we not give in to bullies of cynicism or decorum in showing our exuberant love for you. Amen.
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