1 Chron. 15:29 states, “As the ark of the covenant of the LORD was entering the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart.” 2 Sam. 6:16 recounts the entrance of the ark to Jerusalem almost verbatim, except it adds the phrase “dancing before the Lord.”
There is a side to Michal that I can sympathize with. Did David ever really love her? I doubt it. She was a prize—purchased with the foreskins of 200 dead Philistines. Perhaps at one time she’d been infatuated by the strength and daring of her brother’s comrade who shared the king’s table, but no longer.
Eventually, as a piece of loose change, Saul pawned her off on another after David fled for his life, leaving her behind. And, it does seem intimated to me that in the house of Paltiel she’d known a man who’d truly loved her, for he walked behind her, weeping, when David vied for the throne and once more called for his prize, which was perhaps as much a political move to secure his position as anything else.
Michal, jaded and bitter, gazed down at her husband and king and despised him. I’m not sure I would have felt any differently. But, there is more revealed of Michal— more which speaks a warning.
Michal was a real live princess, raised in palace. Michal was the daughter of Saul, whose power had made him prideful and self-serving. And, as the saying goes, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” I think Michal may have felt too sophisticated and haughty to dance with the commoners. And she apparently was little impressed with the Lord’s ark and His blessings. After all, she was a princess—and not to be too judgmental of her—the Lord had rejected her father, and her brother who loved the Lord. It would have been a hard pill to swallow.
Jonathan had accepted God’s sovereign plan; Michal could not. It is so easy when one has felt wronged to turn a bitter stance. But, Michal’s bitterness did little for her. David himself chides her when he returns home, rubbing in God’s rejection of her family, and 2 Samuel 6:23 tells us that Michal had no children, ever—a grave disappointment to a Jewish woman.
Disappointments and wrongs happen in life, and when they do, it’s easy to turn to bitterness instead of trusting in the sovereign hand of God and believing that He is good. Michal’s life is a warning against that.