I had a sermon to prepare on “Forceful advancement of the Kingdom of God through the ministry of House Fellowships”. The first passage of scripture I had to study was 2 Samuel Chapter 6, verses 11 to 14. It is about the story of Obed-Edom and the Ark of God; how that God blessed the House of Obed-Edom to stupor within three months of accommodating the Ark (the very symbol of God’s presence in his day). Obed-Edom’s blessing within the space of three months was noised about so much so that it aroused spiritual envy in the King. King David quickly prepared to welcome back the Ark into the city of David in a lavish ceremony of praise, music and dancing.
I enjoyed the story so well that I proceeded to complete the chapter and therefore came to David’s encounter with Michal, the daughter of Late King Saul who happened to be King David’s wife. I was forced to suspend my study on House Fellowships as I pondered on the life of Michal, laid bare in but a few verses of this chapter, specifically verses 16 to 23. I sat petrified to find that one event of her life consisting of a few thoughts conceived by pride and arrogance, which matured into spoken words (just a few words) dealt a sinister and fatal blow to her destiny.
Wondering how Michal, the wife of David, could become so unspiritual as to disdain David for his unrestrained worship of the Almighty God, my mind came to her background … her upbringing … her father. I quickly realized that the very virus that killed King Saul had attacked his daughter. I discovered that Michal learnt how life “should be lived” by watching her father and so was misled to her destruction. She died barren.
But would it not be a thing of joy for sons and daughters to behave like their father? Would it not be a thing of pride for sons and daughters to learn from the foot prints of parents? Shouldn’t it be a thing of joy for my children to learn the ropes of life and living by following my example? I pondered on to the singular conclusion, that I am living beyond one life…I am replicating my life in my children. In living my life, I either make or mar theirs. I realized that my failure may most likely mean the failure of the next generation.
You may ask, “why should King Saul be held responsible for the attitude or behavior of Michal that cost her her destiny?” The answer lies in looking at a few of the factors that led to the failure of Saul. In 1 Samuel 13: 10 -14; 15:24 – 31 we find out the following about King Saul:
- He was more concerned about having the people on his side than having God on his side (1 Samuel 13:11): He saw that while he waited on God for Samuel’s arrival, the people scattered from him and so he could no longer wait.
- He was more concerned about the people’s opinion of him and the honour and praise of men than that of God (1 Samuel 15:20 – 22): Saul chose to please the people by allowing them to carry what God had clearly forbidden rather than obey God, forgetting that one with God is majority.
- He was moved by his feelings rather than knowledge of God’s clear command (1 Samuel 13:12): He knew that God had expressly instructed him to wait for Samuel to come and offer the sacrifice but when he thought that the Philistines may come down on him, he felt compelled and offered a burnt offering. He was working in disobedience prompted by his feelings and yet was acting spiritual.
You will discover that in two separate events of King Saul’s life (the battle with the Philistines and the battle with the Amalekites), he portrayed himself as someone who was more concerned about the peoples acceptance, their perception of him, the honour they accord him than with pleasing God who had chosen him and made him King. He would rather sacrifice pleasing God for the praise of men. That was his undoing.
My concern now is the fact that Michal his little girl watched him and copied his attitude as the true expression of royalty. Like her father, she was more concerned about having the people on her side than having God on her side. She placed greater premium on the honour accorded her or the King than her honouring God. Her feelings were of greater concern to her than God’s expectation. Like her father, living her perception of royalty was more important than pleasing God.
So when she saw David act differently, she despised him, little knowing that her father was the wrong one. She expected David to carry himself with “dignity” and exercise restraint in his worship, being mindful of “the maids of his servants” who were watching him. He should behave “as a King”… like Saul always did. She looked on David with disdain and voiced out her displeasure only to realize she had followed her father’s footprints to her destruction.
David did not mince words when he responded and said, “It was before the LORD, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the LORD. And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maid servants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.”
The point we all must realize is that all parents owe their children a duty; it is the duty to live by godly example. By our very lives, we may well be framing the structure on which our children will build their own lives, either to their glory or to their destruction. We must therefore ensure we point them in the right direction, not just by what we say, but by how we live knowing that we shall one day account for how we handled the children entrusted to our care by God.
Pst. (Barr) Emeje Aruwa