So, my last look into Michal's heart was looking at her life in the rear view mirror, so to speak. Seeing what she had chosen to make of her life as it actually was, not as she wanted it to be, I recognized bits of myself in her sad story. You can find that post here.
I've jumped back to Michal's earlier days, found in 1 Samuel chapter 14 and chapter 18. In 1 Samuel 14:49 I read this description of King Saul's children ~ the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malki-Shua; his two daughters were Merab, the firstborn, and the younger, Michal. Just that brief description gives me a lot of background information about Michal. She had older brothers, one of whom was Jonathan. And she had an older sister, Merab. Just spend a couple of moments thinking about that in light of what we know about birth order and the way it impacts our relationships with our own siblings and they way we see it play out in our children's relationships. She was probably seen as "chronically immature". Her feelings may have been considered last, if at all. Her treatment as the spoiled little sister could have been a daily reality; or perhaps her older sister resented the way the boys in the family doted on their little sis. And don't forget, Michal's father was the super-handsome first King of Israel; that made her one of the very first "royal family", the second ever princess in Israel. All of these things combined may have caused Michal to be a bit hyper-sensitive and she may well have had some unrealistic expectations placed upon her by her family...and maybe she expected too much from herself. Any homeschool moms out there who can relate?? (I'm raising my hand even as I'm typing!!)
Fast forward to 1 Samuel 18 and let's see what takes place just following David's victory over the Philistine Goliath. In the first 4 verses of this chapter Jonathan and David's friendship is described. They truly were the best of friends. The two of them made a covenant (as God-fearing Israelites, a covenant was not something either one of them would have entered into lightly). Jonathan gifted David with his robe, his armor, sword, bow and belt. Now we see David, the youngest brother who endured much scorn and mocking (read back a bit in 1 Samuel to look into this) now wearing a prince's robe and belt, carrying a prince's sword and bow, donning a prince's armor! The Lord had lifted David up to a position of honor, which He promises to do for all who humble themselves before him.
*** As an aside, I want to venture out and ask the question that is rolling around in my head...Do you think King Saul chaffed a bit when David took Jonathan's armor when he had refused to take Saul's armor? I'm no theologian, and I by no means speak as one with any authority whatsoever...I'm just wondering "aloud" via my little blog, could King Saul have been bothered by that, just a teeny little bit? ***
David wisely went wherever the king sent him and he "behaved wisely" (verse 5, New Living Translation). The people of Israel accepted him and his new position within the king's army.
Back to chapter 18, verse 7: Here we read about the praise of the people of Israel infuriating Saul because David's praise was greater than his own. He began keeping a suspicious eye on David at this point. To me, this seems like a whole lot of change in a very short period of time, and when I remember that David was the baby of his family, I can feel myself almost wince inside at how overwhelming all of it must have been for him. His time alone with the Lord as a shepherd was serving him well - he knew His God in such a way that turning to Him for solace, comfort, wisdom, and normalcy would have been second nature to David. Praise the Lord, He really does prepare us before He sets us loose in the world!
Skipping on to verse 17 - Saul said to David, "Take my oldest daughter Merab as your wife." Look at verses 17 & 18 for yourself to see if you think Saul was acting valiantly toward David or not with this offer. In verse 19 we Merab is given to a man by the name of Adriel the Meholathite for his wife ~ not to David. Now, David had politely remarked that who was he to be the king's son-in-law; he had not exactly refused the king. How do I know this? Because the text clearly reveals that on the day Merab ought to have been given to David in marriage, she was found to already be married to Adriel. Examine chapter 18 to see if I'm getting this right - and remember, I'm gleaning from the life of Michal at the Lord's leading regarding my own walk with Him. I am in NO WAY teaching anyone other than myself :)
My key verse in this passage is verse 20, where it says that Michal loved David. Rarely is the emotion of a woman mentioned in the Bible like this. It isn't here by mistake; it's in God's Word because it's meant to be in God's Word. We can catch a glimpse into the heart of Michal here. It says she LOVED David. I'm going to stop here and review all that I know up to this point:
1. She was the baby of her family, as was David.
2. Her older sister had married someone instead of David. (Saul seemed as if he would have had David marry Merab - but Merab seems to have had her own marriage plans...hmmm, the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?!)
3. Jonathan and David were beyond friends ~ they had made a life-long covenant.
4. Michal wasn't like the young ladies singing a song to David about his military victories (see verses 6-8). She had probably been around when David the "unknown" had soothed her troubled father with his psalms and musical ability. She'd heard her older brother Jonathan speak of his best friend. She had seen her father's conflicted praise and jealously aimed toward David. And she quite possibly could have been Merab's confidant as she struggled against her father's wishes to marry David.
Michal's love for David was not shallow - her love ran deep! She had seen him grow up and had seen his God deliver him from the Philistine's and from her father's angry outbursts. She had surely known of the way David's older brothers treated him; and so she had witnessed his response to criticism and his response to the praise of the people of Israel. Her love was true love and her heart was fully his. I really believe Michal had an honest and pure love for David. To understand how she ended up a bitter woman, I have to grasp her love for David here in chapter 18.
Verse 20 tells me that Saul was told of Michal's love for David and it "pleased him". Saul intended that Michal would be a snare to David. A godly father does not hand his daughter over in marriage in such a manner. Saul's jealousy had made him hard-hearted and had blinded him to the things that are of the greatest importance in life.
I'll end my study of the life of Michal today in verse 28 of 1 Samuel 18. Again I read that Michal loved David. It is mentioned twice in this chapter, indicating it's importance. Don't just skim over those words and move on to what's next; don't just assume Michal was a terrible person from the very beginning; get a look inside of her heart, and realize she loved him deeply. And then take a look into your own heart, as I take a long look into mine, and let's ask the Lord to fix what is broken in there and make us fully able to love one another, specifically our husbands and children. As moms who homeschool, we show our children that we are Jesus' disciples by our love for one another. Paul said the greatest of these 3 (faith, hope, and love) is love. Let's be instruments of that love.
Lord bless you as you lovingly homeschool your kiddos!
Day 50 done :)
Jan L. Burt