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A Fool's Worship

“And David said to Michal, ‘It was before 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 eyes’” (2 Samuel 6:21-22).

One of the first things David did after establishing himself as king in Jerusalem was bring the ark of the covenant to the city. In accordance with the law of Moses, Levites carried the ark with poles on their shoulders. David arranged a great celebration as the ark entered the city, a magnificent parade filled with music and dancing. David himself was at the lead, rejoicing more than anyone else.

David’s wife Michal saw him out the window as he approached, and she hated him for his exuberant worship. Their story was a hard one: Michal, daughter of Saul, was David’s first wife, but while he was on the run for his life, Saul had given her to another man. When David claimed the throne, he demanded Michal back—though he had six other wives by now. So in Michal’s defense, she had a plausible reason to be angry with David. But that wasn’t the source of her contempt as she watched him worship before the ark. She hated him because his love for God make him look like a fool. Instead of seeing his heart behind his actions, she saw only the outward appearance.

David’s genuine heart for God kept him from caring what others thought. His own wife thought he was foolish, but he didn’t care. When Michal confronted him about it, he promised her that he would make himself look even sillier. His love for God was strange in the eyes of those around him, but he didn’t care. He loved the LORD, and he would show that in full force. He was willing to be a fool for the sake of his God.

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