Published on
October 3, 2023

1 Samuel 19

“Saul sent agents to David’s house to watch for him and kill him in the morning. But his wife Michal warned David...”

Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Read Time
4 minutes
1 Samuel 19
“Saul sent agents to David’s house to watch for him and kill him in the morning. But his wife Michal warned David: ‘If you don’t escape tonight, you will be dead tomorrow!’ So she lowered David from the window and he fled and escaped. Then Michal took the household idol and put it on the bed, placed some goats’ hair on its head, and covered it with a garment.” 1 Samuel 19:11-13 (HCSB)

There have been quite a few Bible stories that I have simply not understood until I began really studying the Scripture. I want to encourage you that every Biblical question I’ve had (upon first reading the Bible) has been answered (or adequately explained) upon further Biblical investigation. And I do not expect that there will be any spiritual questions that God’s Word cannot (or will not eventually) answer!

Today’s question answered pertains to why David’s wife, Michal, was so upset when he danced naked when the Ark of the Covenant returned to Jerusalem. It never made sense to me why the woman who would risk her life to protect David would be so disgusted at his humble worship. Let’s refresh our memories:

“When David returned home to bless his household, Saul’s daughter Michal came out to meet him. ‘How the king of Israel honored himself today!’ she said. ‘He exposed himself today in the sight of the slave girls of his subjects like a vulgar person would expose himself.’ David replied to Michal, ‘I was dancing before the Lord who chose me over your father and his whole family to appoint me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel. I will celebrate before the Lord, and I will humble myself and humiliate myself. I will be honored by the slave girls you spoke about.’ And Saul’s daughter Michal had no child to the day of her death.” 2 Samuel 6:20-23 (HCSB)

Personally, I believe Michal’s observation of David’s humility may have reminded her of the time when her father, Saul, was naked before the Lord.

“The Spirit of God came on him (Saul), and as he walked along, he prophesied until he entered Naioth in Ramah. Saul then removed his clothes and also prophesied before Samuel; he collapsed and lay naked all that day and all that night.” 1 Samuel 19:23-24a (HCSB)

This shameful recollection of Saul was mixed with the fact that Michal had inherited another nasty little habit from her father: Idolatry. We know there was at least one idol in David’s household because it was used to simulate David’s sleeping body. When Saul was rejected by the Lord, he should have humbled himself in true repentance. Instead, he most certainly turned to idols. It seems Michal inherited her father’s idol worship.

Another reason to suggest Michal’s idolatry is the fact that she was childless. Our conclusion, then, is that Michal was introduced to idolatry by her father and sought the power of an idol to make her fertile when God withheld her womb. Furthermore, having never experienced true worship (personal or corporate), Michal was critical of the authenticity of David’s humility. How do you respond when others worship the Lord?

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