Adoption, Bible, God, My Story

Michal & The Joy of the Lord

Quiet Time…

There are times when I read my Bible and nothing notable stands out to me. Yet, I diligently read the Bible over and over again because I know it’s good for me. How do I know? Well, besides, ‘the Bible tells me so,’ it’s because of the times when things in the Bible do stand out to me! I wanted to share some thoughts that came to me while I was reading 2 Samuel 6. 


I always thought Michal, David’s wife, had a real problem for getting so upset with him for dancing and praising the Lord half-dressed in the streets. I mean, wasn’t he praising God after all? God wasn’t striking him dead and it seemed to be portrayed as a ‘good’ thing to do in the text. And even if she was upset with David, he was her king! Kings demand honor and respect whether or not we agree with them. So, why would she put herself in a precarious position by judging the king? This time reading through the story, I saw something a bit different than usual. I saw Michal as a person and considered her history…

Her Story…

…She’s in love with a man who has a rocky relationship with her father. But, he’s in love with her too and he asks for her hand. The father, thinking he can get rid of this suitor sends him on a crazy task in hopes that he’ll die trying or just give up. But he’s surprised. David has indeed done what Saul asks of him and Michal becomes David’s wife. 

Michal and David probably don’t have the easiest of marriages. After all, over and over again, Michal’s dad, Saul, who’s also David’s boss, tries to harm him. Finally, it becomes apparent that Saul does indeed mean to kill David when he has the chance. David seemingly has no choice. Preservation of life demands that he run away, not to mention the godly promise of being the future king! 

Gustave Doré (1865)

In an act of heroism, Michal says, ‘If you do not escape with your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.’ She lowers David out the window and when the guards come to the house to search for David, Michal tells them he’s sick in bed, hoping this would buy them some time. It doesn’t work. The guards go to the bed and pull back the covers only to see that a dummy has been made to look like David and placed in bed. David was already out the window and making his get away to Samuel the prophet.

As David stays away from home in order to save his life, Michal is left on her own. Saul eventually decides to give her in marriage to another man. Over the years this man seems to come to love Michal deeply as is shown later in the story. When David’s kingship is being established, he requires that his first wife, Michal be returned to him. As she is being transported to David, her husband follows behind, weeping. The first question that comes to mind is, who would Michal rather be with at this stage in her life? Her first love or the man who she’s currently with? Poor Michal must feel like a pawn being fought over between two kingdoms – Saul’s line and David’s line.

The Hurt and Pain Shows…

We get a glimpse of how she might be feeling when David returns from retrieving the Ark of the Covenant. He’s praising God and dancing in celebration of the Ark being brought to his city that he unashamedly ‘leaps and dances before the Lord.’ The Bible tells us that when Michal saw this from her window, she despised him. That word carries such weight. I imagine that all the resentment, hurt, and pain of her life comes out against David as she sees him full of joy. How long has she held onto the pain of his earlier abandonment, even though she encouraged it? How long has she held onto the hurt of being taken, some might say kidnapped, from her second husband that she had made a life with during the years David was gone? It seems like the hurt, resentment and possible unforgiveness clouded her vision to see the joy of the moment – God’s presence entering the city. The only way she could respond was with disrespect and judgement towards her husband. Still, even with all this backstory, there had to have been a way for redemption.

“David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem” by Darlene Slavujac, 1993

My Own Hurt…

This led me to look at my own life more closely. How often do I have resentment towards other people and miss what God’s doing in and around me? How many times have I judged someone or something (an organization maybe) because of the pain and hurt caused to me. In what ways is that unforgiveness and bitterness robbing me of the ‘Joy of the Lord’?

Let’s bring it to a very real place in my life. During my elementary aged years I had to be interviewed by a DHS (Department of Human Services) worker to determine if a certain person had ever abused me. You see, I was in frequent contact with a man who had an allegation made against him of abusing a child from nearly a decade earlier – this child now being a teenager. I was interviewed by the DHS social worker assigned to the case in a one-on-one meeting – this being necessary so that no other person could potentially influence my responses and answers. The worker who interviewed me made me feel very uncomfortable and unsafe. He asked me questions that I didn’t want to answer or think about. I had not been abused and so it was hard for me to come to terms with and have an understanding of what he was suggesting. In that interview, I felt like my innocence was being stripped from me. I felt dirty just thinking about the things he was insinuating.

That interaction and process put a bad taste in my mouth for Social Services. I held onto a dislike for ‘the system’ for YEARS! I was afraid of the people and didn’t trust the system. I had bad memories and images in my mind from the questions I was asked. I couldn’t get over the feeling of being sullied and I was angry that I had to ‘grow up’ sooner than I should have.

But finally, in my adulthood, God came to me in a new way. He gently prompted me to receive some deep inner healing prayer. Through those hours spent praying, I was finally able to release my judgement of DHS and other social services. I was able to forgive the institution that made me see parts of life I never wanted to know about. In relinquishing my right to judge, God peeled back the layers of hurt and moved me towards freedom. Freedom to trust, freedom to see the good in systems and freedom to regain my childlike innocence.

The Joy of the Lord…

And now, I’m working with social workers and allowing them to privately interview my own kids in order to be approved for adoption. I can tell you, it was really hard to feel comfortable allowing each of my kids to be interviewed privately by our caseworker, but I also have come to trust. Through establishing a relationship with our caseworker, I could see that she is not like the social worker that interviewed me so many years ago. I’ve also learned from others who have been through this before, that the adoption questions are super general and don’t go towards subjects that I had to discuss so many years ago – unless there was a good reason to. After my kids came out from interviewing, each of them was so happy and excited that they got to have a special part in making our adoption approval come to fruition. I’m so thankful that I have presently and will see in the future the ‘Joy of the Lord’ while working with this institution towards adoption!

Trust, Honor, Respect…

Reading Michal’s story and trying to imagine what life might have been like for her really helped me to get a different idea of why she responded like she did. It also helped me to apply it to my own life circumstances. I have had enough negative experiences to be able to feel justified in holding a grudge against people and even against my king, Jesus/God. But if I did that, then where would I be? I’ve chosen to release my judgement of situations because I don’t know all the details. I can’t know all the possible outcomes or all the spiritual forces happening behind the scenes. BUT, I do know that I can trust God to bring about good in my life through the pain and trials. I can choose to see the ‘Joy of the Lord’ in my past, present and future. And even when I don’t understand, I still choose to honor and respect my King, Jesus. I know one thing, when given the opportunity, I will dance with great abandon in the presence of the Holy Spirit/God. 

I remain confident of this:

I will see the goodness (joy) of the Lord in the land of the living.

Psalm 27:13

5 thoughts on “Michal & The Joy of the Lord”

  1. What a clear explanation of Michal’s reaction to David’s joy! I never saw iMichal like that before either! How many times, I’ve reacted that way, however, lately I’ve decided to respond in love and thankfulness to God for that person or persons. No! I haven’t been perfect in my love towards those who have injured me, but I’ve left the road of revenge and I’m on the road called more love. At least I’m not in denial about my reactions, but repentant and seeking God’s way of responding to past pain! HALLELUJAH!! Thank the Lord!!


  2. Wow. What a lovely entry! Thank you for your vulnerability to share this inspiring story of your life. I have seen such compassion in you as I’ve gotten to know you better over the past few years. I can see how God has formed that in you through your experiences of pain. Praise to our Lord and King!


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