Day 3 – God is deserving of honor.
Today we open to a passage of Scripture that deals with real people. All of Scripture is real stories, but these people- they are Technicolor real, like, “keeping it real” kind of real.
I think as Christians, these passages are extremely helpful for us, because we feel a little less alone in the walk. We tend to picture so many others around us with their Christian act completely together, while we doggie paddle through the Christian walk, unsightly and disheveled. Or we think we’ve got it so much more together than everyone else around us. Either way we take our eyes off the one who is truly worthy of honor – God.
Let’s read 2 Samuel 6:16-23:
“As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart. And they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts…
And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” And David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince[f] over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will celebrate before the Lord. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your[g] eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.”
In this passage, David and his men have just returned the Ark of the Covenant, the very presence of God among His people at this time, back to Israel. I’m not sure we have anything in our current time to compare this to. We have the presence of God at all times through the Holy Spirit (praise the Lord!), but for the people then, God’s presence resided in His house, through the Ark. They needed it, like they needed water to survive. You better believe David was dancing in the streets!
Michal, struggling with bitterness and a myriad of her own baggage, is appalled and embarrassed, and accuses David of dishonor. The problem is where she fixed her eyes. She defined David’s honor by the eyes of those around them, the people of Israel, and more problematic, by her own definition of what she saw as honorable. David, whoever fixes his eyes firmly on Christ and instructs his wife that what she sees as honorable, and what the world defines as honorable is very different than God’s definition of honor. God’s definition of honor, that’s what matters to David.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be where David was – contemptible by the world any day, if it means honorable to God. And the beauty is, that God’s presence doesn’t depend on our response. When we mess up, when we seek the world’s honor, He still firmly planted His home in our hearts through the Spirit. We experience forgiveness and renewal and try again. That, my friends, that is something worth dancing about.
*my 13 year old calls them my “memory posties” , this one is in the van for when we’re on the run 🙂
Discussion questions: In what ways do you think we get wrapped up in how the world defines honor (what is good/right)?
What is your favorite part of the worship service?