Praise the Lord! Sing a new song to the Lord; praise him in the assembly of his faithful people! Be glad, Israel, because of your Creator; rejoice, people of Zion, because of your king! Praise his name with dancing; play drums and harps in praise of him. The Lord takes pleasure in his people; he honors the humble with victory. Psalm 149:1-4 GNT
The city of Jerusalem holds special prominence in the heart of God and in the story of David. King David moved the royal capital to Jerusalem and established it as the City of God. Jerusalem became known as the City of David, Zion, and the place where God and the People of Israel are joined together in a unique way. A relationship is formed. Throughout the epic story we will discover how the relationship develops. We will discover a pattern with Israel and God. So, goes Israel’s relationship with God, so goes the city of Jerusalem. Oddly enough, the word marriage comes to mind.
Let’s move in together.
King David decided to make Jerusalem the capital. He routed out the Jebusites and moved his family from Hebron to Jerusalem. Afterwards, he declared the Ark of the Covenant was to be moved into the capital. Some drama developed heightening concerns about moving the Ark of the Covenant which amplified everyone’s nerves. Just like preparing for a wedding celebration, there is always pre-wedding drama. Always. The drama gets even more amplified when people lost sight of their priorities. Emotions ran high. Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “too many cooks in the kitchen?” Well, Jerusalem was filled with cooks in a very small kitchen.
I’d like to focus on this unique relationship between God, David and Jerusalem. David’s priority was God. His energy went into the relationship with God, then people and finally to the city of Jerusalem. Scripture described David as a man after God’s heart. (Acts 13:22) However, David's priority made being married to his wife Michal problematic. David is hardly the text book husband as far as Michal is concerned. Michal was Saul’s daughter and in my opinion, used very badly as a pawn in this very political story. Michal was certainly raised with certain values as King Saul’s daughter. Imagine the expectations put on Princess Michal. She would’ve been educated in royal protocol and taught how to act in public. Royal families live within very strict narrow lines—even ancient ones. I believe Michal would’ve expected to be the priority in David’s life. But, she was wrong. Scripture says Michal lost all respect for her husband as he publicly danced before the Ark of the Covenant and paraded the Ark to it’s proper place. (2 Samuel 6:16).
Yes, the public spectacle of the king dancing in the street may have been embarrassing for Queen Michal. But, I think as she watched, her heart hardened because she realized she would never have the priority in David's heart. Her position or marriage would never be in the place where God would be. I think this situation, written so brilliantly in 2 Samuel 6, captures the essence of what many married couples struggle with even to this day. Queen Michal’s character was revealed. Perhaps she realized where her true position would be and just gave up. Michal faded from palace life and never had any children of her own. Her legacy was over. Or was it?
Spouses, I believe this story reveals a deep truth for us. Marriage requires prioritization in our lives. Only God would create such a demanding relationship. Because it requires us to give up our rights or expectations and believe God has the better way. We struggle to handle priorities every day in marriage. Marriage is also where we learn about sacrifice, repentance and resilience. Relationships will often require more from us than what many are willing to give. We must yield or we get stuck. Marriages will go through desert seasons. but, God promises we find great wells of living water when we truly yield to him.
A little self-inventory.
So, here is my suggestion. Do a little self-inventory with regards to your priorities. Is God really first in my life? Spouses, do a heart check. Is there unresolved resentment or disappointment in your heart in regards to your marriage? I think if Queen Michal were to sit down with us, she may offer some sage advice. She may say something like this, “Keep your heart open to God. Don’t let your own expectations drive an agenda that is contrary to God’s. It doesn’t end well for you. But, if you put your trust in the LORD, he will make your path straight and fill your heart forever.”
You have turned my sorrow into joyful dancing. No longer am I sad and wearing sackcloth. I thank you from my heart, and I will never stop singing your praises, my Lord and my God. Psalm 30:11-12 CEV