A Haughty Spirit; A Hasty Judgment

2 Sam. 6:16 And 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 dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.

To give a little background into today’s passage, Michal once loved David many years before when she was originally promised to him by Saul. However, through a series of pre-ordained events Saul forbid the marriage, David fell from favor, and he was soon on the run hiding in the wilderness to preserve his life. Michal married another thinking David was lost. The book of 2 Samuel continues their saga by revealing that after Saul’s death and David’s rise to power, David demanded that Michal be returned to him. He added an angry Michal to his house of wives and left a distraught husband.

As David regained power over Israel and continued the Lord’s conquests, he defeated the Philistines and reclaimed the Ark which had been stolen years earlier. Rejoicing, he brought it into the city dancing in the streets before the LORD while Michal looked on from a cold, dark window. It is from her vantage point that we find this verse.

Michal’s critical spirit arrested me. It is a familiar one. Her bitterness manifested in harsh judgment when she summed up David by her interpretation of his actions. The Bible reveals that David’s actions were a genuine outpouring of his joy in the Lord. He danced in celebration and praise which honored the Lord and were a sweet gift to our God and King. Yet Michal could not see past the expression. She qualified David’s heart by her perception of his activity. She immediately measured David’s worth, merit, and motive by an exhibition she did not understand.

So I ask, how often have I judged and condemned the outward expression of rejoicing, praise, and glory-giving to the Lord Almighty because that expression was contrary to what I thought appropriate? How often have I judged the giver of that praise without ever weighing (or caring to notice) the motive and intent behind it? How often do I ostracize, qualify, measure, and discard others based on actions or voiced opinions which I simply do not understand?

So today I plead, Lord, protect me from this vice in the future. Lord, as you place me in positions of leadership and give me responsibility over others, please give me a heart that sees sin for what it is so I might quickly identify it and blot it out of my own life while helping those in my influence to see it as well. And, Lord, I ask that you enable me to see the hearts of those who truly bless you. Please soften my critical spirit. Help me to identify arrogance, pride, and fear for what they are. For until those sins can be identified, my freedom in you and from this world is greatly hindered. Lord, let my life be an outward expression of your love for me. Please allow me to be a vessel which you use to point others to you.

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