Two recent Bible Journal posts have mentioned verses or themes from Matthew 5-7 (also known as the Sermon on the Mount). Stephanie’s post on 3/10 and Lyndon’s post on 3/12 mentioned loving our enemies.
2 Samuel 6 also reminds me of the Sermon on the Mount. I wonder if Jesus had these stories of David on his mind as he gave this sermon. Jesus would have heard these stories and understood the text from being a young boy, so it seems quite possible.
David had been celebrating and worshipping God, he “danced before the Lord with all his might” (2 Samuel 6:14a). We witness David not holding back whatsoever, giving his all solely for the glory of God.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[b]they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
As David returns to bless his household, he is greeted rudely and angrily by his wife Michal. Why did Michal respond the way she did? 2 Samuel 6:16 says she “despised him in her heart”. Ouch, his own wife!
This chapter doesn’t tell us her reasoning for being upset. I’ve got some thoughts on this, and all relate to what I believe is the root for most of our sin: Selfishness.
- Was Michal jealous that David put God first in his life?
- Was Michal full of pride and embarrassed that David lowered himself before the people, dancing like a maniac? As though the king should behave more “kingly”.
- Was Michal bitter that David held greater esteem than her father (Saul)? Did she think the throne should be in her own family?
Whatever the reasoning, I see this as persecution directly related to David’s love for God and his desire to serve him first. This brings me again to the Sermon on the Mount.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)
David’s response to Michal was more than fair, and he chose to keep it above board without snarling back insults at her. I loved this statement “It was before the Lord” because it reflects his priorities and that he really didn’t care what anyone thought about what he was doing – he cared about being right with God.
39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:39)
All of this once again leads me to the cross. I don’t know exactly what it feels like to be despised but Jesus does. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life yet he was despised, betrayed, beaten, spit upon and unjustly killed. He didn’t have to do any of this, but he did it anyway in direct obedience to The Father’s plan, for our sins. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice. I choose you today. Amen.
Extra credit reading: The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)