“As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before he Lord, she despised him in her heart. When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, ‘How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!’ David said to Michal, ‘It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—-I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.’ And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.” (2nd Samuel 6:16, 20-23)
Devotion to God should unite marriage partner in inseparable commitment. Too often religion becomes a source of marital conflict. David and Michal had entered marriage because of their love for each other, but this did not keep them from have interpersonal problems. Michal was disgusted with David’s behavior while he was accompanying the ark of the Lord on its return to Jerusalem. She felt it inappropriate for the king to e dancing and singing in the streets. David justified his behavior on the basis of his devotion to the Lord. Marriage partners in a conflict situation often use religion to justify actions the mate dislikes. Unequal religious devotion can also cause marital conflict, as noted here between David and Michal.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, how many times do we witness partners in marriage, have conflict and justify their position with Scripture? It appeared to me that David was full of the Holy Spirit, bringing the ark of the Lord back to Jerusalem and in the moment it was perfectly the right thing for him to be dancing and singing as the ark was coming home again. Michal was influenced by her father Saul’s rule, which is why God replaced him with David. David was not perfect and he paid dearly for his sins, but he was the right ruler at the right time for Israel. He was ushering in a religious renewal within the country, and it was certainly a cause for celebration. Today we continue to pray troops serving in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Image is what people think we are. Integrity is what we really are.”
“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son whose does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders of the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you/ All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.” (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)
Parents symbolically represent God to the children. Therefore, rejecting parents is not only disobedience to them but also rejects God’s established order fro family life. When a son consistently rejected parental discipline and lived a life contrary to God’s will for Israel, the law prescribed the death penalty. The penalty was on the sin of disobedience to God as much as rejection of parents. It was also a public testimony to the seriousness of God’s claim upon the people of Israel. Although the conditions of God’s covenant have changed, the seriousness of His claim has not. A good example is parents allowing their child to watch combat video games, where the more people you kill makes you the winner, is warping the minds of our youth. In the video games, the people you kill at the end of the game, all get up and you start over. In real life, when you kill people, they stay on the ground because they are dead or wounded. The warped sense of the video games teaches a very bad lesson to youth who are the outcasts of the school or deal with issues of self-worth and the games move beyond games and become part of the impetus of committing criminal acts.
“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 1:26-28)
One consequence of human rejection of God’s plan for life is homosexual activity. The biblical revelation uniformly declares heterosexual relationships to be God’s intended form of sexual interaction and condemns homosexual acts. A homosexual life-style is contrary to the gospel. Even though rejecting homosexual acts, the New Testament offers forgiveness and a new life orientation to homosexuals as well as to other sinners.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Then Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers and was buried with them in he City of David. And Jehoram his son succeeded him as king. Jehoam’s brothers, the sons of Johoshaphat, were Aariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah. All these were sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. The father had given hem many gifts of silver and gold and articles o value as well as fortified cities in Judah, but he had given the kingdom to Jehoram because he was his firstborn son. When Jehoram established himself firmly over his father’s kingdom, he put all his brothers to the sword along with some of he princes of Israel. Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He waled in the ways of the kings of Israel, as the housed of Ahab had done, fore married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of he Lord. Nevertheless, because of he covenant the Lord had made with David, the Lord was not willing to destroy the house of David. He had promised to maintain a lamp fro him and his descendants forever. In the time of Jehoram, Edom rebelled against Judah and set up is own king.” (2nd Chronicles 21:1-8)
Jealousy among family members and the desire for power incited violent attacks upon other members of he family among the rulers in Israel and Judah. Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, slaughtered his brother along with other princes of Israel to avert any threat to the throne. His sin brought God’s judgment upon his family and upon himself. The kings’ family life does not describe that of the ordinary people in that day. Violence toward family members and sexual abuse of children were forbidden by law and were not characteristic of Hebrew families. Such historical descriptions certainly are not set up as examples to follow. They illustrate the extreme results of the sins of jealousy, pride, and the hunger for personal power. Sounds very similar to what’s going on in our world today, and for the same reasons.