If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: 1 Chronicles 15, James 2, Amos 9, Luke 4. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can’t do all the readings today, read 1 Chronicles 15.
Undoubtedly the day we read about here in 1 Chronicles 15 was one of the biggest, happiest days in David’s life. As he centered his kingdom in the capital of Jerusalem, his love for God would naturally lead him to want God’s tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant there as well. The earlier incident with Uzzah, which we read about yesterday in 1 Chronicles 13, made David despair that the ark would ever reside in his city (see 1 Chron 13:12-13). After he studied the law and understood how the ark was to be transported, David was able to instruct the people and ensure that the Ark was transported properly as we read in verses 2, 12-15. Everything about the latter half of this chapter exudes the emotion of joy (v. 16: “...make a joyful sound”, v. 25: “with rejoicing”). This event did not have the solemn grandeur of a coronation or a royal wedding; it had the loud, happy feel of a victory parade.
The passage ended on a lower note, however, when verse 29 told us, “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.” This passage told us quite a bit less about this incident than the parallel passage in 2 Samuel 6:20-23 did; but it told us enough. Michal, David’s first wife, did not like David’s actions in this worship parade one bit. From the first mention of Michal in verse 29 we know that something is off. Instead of worshipping and singing with her husband and so many others from Israel, Michal “watched from a window.” She was not involved the celebration; she was detached, withdrawn, and passive. Instead of being happy with David or, at least, for David as he accomplished one of his major goals, she “despised him in her heart.” In other words, she judged him--his motives and his actions--and decided that he was not worthy of her respect or anyone else’s. Kings should not be so excited and overjoyed; in her mind, David should have been more regal and dignified as the leader in this situation.
Michal misunderstood David’s motives (see 2 Sam 6:20b: “going around half naked in full view of the slave girls...”) and it permanently, negatively affected her marriage (see 2 Sam 6:23). But her rift with David was really not about her relationship with David; it was about her relationship with God. She was detached and despising because she was not tuned into the worship that was happening in this passage. She cared too much about David’s image and not nearly enough about God and what he was doing. Unfortunately, anything you do for God can (and maybe will) be misunderstood by someone. There will always be someone--not necessarily your spouse--who will judge you in your service of the Lord. If someone like that speaks their disapproval, it can deflate the joy of your worship faster than a pin can burst a balloon. Don’t let those who misunderstand you steal your joy in serving the Lord. Don’t let critics take your attention off the blessings of serving God. Keep your focus on the Lord, ask him to purify your motives and use you for his glory as you serve him. Then let him, the just judge, deal with your critics the way that only he can.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we’ll talk scripture again tomorrow.