While preparing a lesson about David’s moving the ark of God to Jerusalem, the following verse showed up in the middle of the story:
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.
1 Chronicles 15:29 NIV
This verse almost seems out of place, but it is a reminder that – even when we are glorifying God and praising Him – some people will look down on us. (For more context on this, you can read a parallel account in 2 Samuel 6:17-23.) I think that we can sympathize a little bit with Michal’s point of view; after all, David had assumed the role of king after her father (Saul) had died, and it seems that he (David) was worshiping “all-out”. (There are some other lessons to be learned here, but perhaps those can be shared another day.)
When we celebrate God’s blessings in our lives, there will be some who will judge us because they weren’t blessed in the same way. Like David said to Michal in 2 Samuel 6:21, though, when our hearts are right, we’re not celebrating ourselves (nor our accomplishments), but we’re celebrating what God – in His infinite wisdom – did for us.
When we express worship to God with all that we have, some people will probably say that we’re a little undignified. Like David said in 2 Samuel 6:22, though, a small sacrifice of our pride and our reputation is nothing compared to what God has done for us.
Notice also that Michal “watched from a window”. If those who are not participating in our worship and celebration of God criticize us for how we worship, perhaps we could ask them what is in their own hearts, and learn about why they aren’t celebrating what God has done with us. Maybe there is pain that needs to be healed, or misunderstandings about God that need to be replaced with the truth. Maybe those who criticize haven’t yet learned how deep and wide the grace of God is, or are still discovering who He is more completely (aren’t we all?).
And, maybe that principle should apply to us: who are we to criticize others who are praising God differently from how we might do so, especially when our lives aren’t full of praise to God?
God is great. In fact, He’s uniquely great. As we learn more and more about that greatness, it is natural to want to share it (with Him, and with others). In fact, I believe that we were created to praise and glorify God for who He is. He takes care of the little things and big things for us, so we can afford to put Him first. Even if taking the time to spend with Him (publicly or privately) costs us some free time, outspoken criticism from others, or even something more serious, it is worth the investment!
From Sunday School lesson for May 30, 2021
- The Lookout, May 30, 2021, © 2021 Christian Standard Media.
- Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
- Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). Matthew Henry. 1706, via BibleGateway.com.