Have you heard of Michal? Michal was married to King David and in the Biblical book of 2 Samuel we read about a rather nasty fight they had.
The Ark of the Covenant transported to Jerusalem, preceded by David dancing and playing the harp by Marc Chagall- 1956
David has been instrumental in returning the Ark of the Covenant to its rightful place in Jerusalem. He expresses his religious excitement with an exuberant dance and shares his joy by distributing bread to everyone. What a generous spiritual man!
Michal Watching David From the Window by James Tissot -1898
Or so we’d think if we weren’t introduced to Michal who despises her husband and after watching him celebrating tells David his dancing is vulgar and shameful. David snaps a hurtful retort back at Michal. Their vicious spat can perhaps be explained by their dramatic marriage history.
Michal Helps David Escape From Her Father by Gustave Dore- 1865
Michal’s father King Saul gave her to David as a reward for killing Goliath. Later Saul tries to kill David and Michal saves David’s life.
Illustration from the Morgan BIble of Michal being taken away from Palti
David goes into hiding and Saul gives Michal to another man named Palti. He and Michal have such a good relationship that when David defeats Saul and insists on taking Michal back, her second husband is heart broken. Michal’s subsequent life in David’s harem is lonely and unhappy.
David was a great leader but many of his family relationships, like the one with Michal, are marked by bitterness, betrayal and anger.
Family relationships can be tricky and tough. Sometimes peace and forgiveness is almost impossible. But knowing our behaviors and choices have created pain for our families can taint our other accomplishments and diminish our happiness. Nelson Mandela once said his greatest regret was that his personal life was so unstable and that the political choices he made caused great pain for his family.
Michal and David’s hostile interaction in this 2 Samuel text is a good reminder that doing our best to heal brokenness in our families is important.
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Filed under Family, Religion