A Relationship Ruined By ResentmentAs 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 the LORD, she despised him in her heart. 2 Samuel 6:16
For context, Michal’s story is told in these verses from 1 Samuel 14-2 Samuel 6
Do you remember your first love? Perhaps, like many first loves, it turned out to be just infatuation. The feelings of affection were easy come, easy go. Unfortunately, that appears to be the case with Michal and David.
In 1 Samuel, we read of Israel’s first king, Saul. Eventually, the LORD rejects him as king and David is anointed as future king by Samuel. We read of Saul’s hatred of David and his attempts to murder him. Saul discovered that his daughter Michal was in love with David and he was pleased. He viewed this as another opportunity to eliminate David. As a dowry, he asked for the foreskins of 100 dead Philistines in exchange for her hand. He was hopeful the hazardous task would prove deadly to David.
But the LORD was with David and he was more than successful in battle. He brought back 200 instead of just 100. Saul had no choice but to give David his daughter, Michal as his wife.
Jealous and angry, Saul continued to pursue David. Once when David came home from war, Saul tried again to kill him. But it was Michal who saved him from her dad. She found out about the plot to kill him and let him down out the window of their house so he could flee. She took a household idol and made it look like David was in bed. When it was discovered that David had fled and Michal had tricked her father, she lied to her dad and said that David made her do it or else he would kill her.
This is where their relationship goes awry. While David is on the run from Saul, Saul gives Michal to another man. This would have been a forced adulterous relationship for her as she was still married to David. We don’t know how Michal felt about being given to another man or what she thought of her new husband. But, from 2 Samuel 3:14
, we do know that David wanted her back because when he was king of Judah, he demanded that she be brought back to him before he would negotiate peace with the northern tribes.
When David finally became king of all Israel, he sought to bring the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem. As the ark was being brought up, David praised and worshipped through dance before the LORD. Michal was watching him enter the city dancing and she despised him.
What was the cause of this change of heart towards him? We don’t exactly know. But we do know that they would have been separated for 8 to 10 years. Possibly, she was resentful that David took over her father’s throne. Or, she may have been angry that he married other women. Maybe his public display of worship really bothered her. She was known to have idols in her household, after all. Or maybe she had fallen in love with her new husband and was upset that David had taken her away from him.
Regardless of the reason, the love that Michal had once felt for David was gone. She confronted him when he came home and accused him of dancing half-naked in front of the slave girls. David maintained that he had been dancing for the LORD, not for the slave girls. And Michal was never blessed with children after this encounter. We don’t know if God kept her from conceiving or if David withheld martial relations from her but Michal remained childless her entire life.
The WORD about women in the story of Michal is that resentment ruins relationships. Michal and David had been in love during the newlywed phase. But when trials came and hardships occurred, they did not have a strong enough foundation to make their love last. Instead of working to rekindle affections with her husband, Michal treated her long lost husband with bitterness and scorn. Sisters, if we want to make relationships last, we have to deal with our hardships and our hurts before resentment is allowed to take root. Bitterness does not make a relationship better.
ReflectAre you experiencing bitterness or resentment in your marriage or any of your relationships? Spend some time in prayer for wisdom and then have a conversation with that individual. Seek to find mutual solutions to your problems and strive for resolution. Don’t let bitterness set in!PrayFather, it is hard to handle hurts and hardships in relationships. But I do not want resentment to ruin mine. Give me the wisdom to know how to heal and repair brokenness before it becomes bitterness. Amen.