The Michal Attitude
Rev. Lily Lim | On 15, Sep 2015
2 Samuel 6:12-23 (NKJV)
V12- Now it was told King David, saying, “The LORD has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness.
V13- And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep.
V14- Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.
V15- So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.
V16- Now as the ark of the LORD came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
V17- So they brought the ark of the LORD, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then David offered burnt offering and peace offerings before the LORD.
V18- And when David had finished offering burnt offering and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.
V19- Then he distributed among all the people, among the whole multitude of Israel, both the women and the men, to everyone a loaf of bread, a piece of meat, and a cake of raisins. So all the people departed, everyone to his house.
V20- Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself.”
V21- So David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me the ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the LORD.
V22- And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.
V23- Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.
Our attitude towards the things of God determines our blessings or barrenness.
There are two attitudes we can choose towards the things of God – either we DESPISE or we CHERISH the things of God.
Our key text records the story of when King David restored the Ark of the Covenant to Israel and gives special insight into the response of David’s wife, Michal. Scripture says that David danced before the Lord with all his might with shouting and trumpets. However, when Michal observed from her upstairs windows, she despised him in her heart.
Michal was the younger daughter of Saul. Her mother was Ahinoam. Michal became David’s first wife after Saul had vowed that the man who killed Goliath would become his son-in-law, but refused to give David his first daughter, Merab. Saul then asked for a dowry of 100 dead Philistines. When David killed 200 Philistines, Saul handed Michal over to David.
Michal, although a princess, does not appear to have a very commendable character. Desire for prestige, fervor of infatuation, indifference to holiness and idolatry mark out her character. She had been trained under Saul’s monarchy. In that period there was no national concern for God (1 Chronicles 13:3). Public worship was neglected; religious zeal was dead. Michal knew of God but she did not truly “know” God! She placed God on equality with the “teraphims” (1 Samuel 19:16). Her religion was marked with superstition, formality and coldness. As she grew older, she could tolerate David’s piety no longer. In David she had loved the hero and the king. But she did not love Jehovah and was thus offended with David’s humility and pious enthusiasm as he joined Israel to celebrate. Her despising attitude over her husband David’s rejoicing reveals her pride and lack of sensitivity to the worship Jehovah desired. She had no feelings about the return of the sacred Ark of the Covenant to Zion. This callous attitude is a reflection of her heart condition, and this hardness of heart caused her to despise the things of God. [It’s this same failing that is responsible for many marriages falling apart today. In homes where joy ought to reign, many are filled with bitter trials because one spouse loves God more than the other.] The despising resulted in Michal being barren from that day until her death: “Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death” (verse 23).
This morning, I would like to share a message called ‘THE MICHAL ATTITUDE’.
(I) WHAT IS THE MICHAL ATTITUDE?
The Michal Attitude is AN ATTITUDE OF DESPISING WHAT GOD ESTEEMS (VALUES, APPRECIATES, RESPECTS).
This Michal attitude will open us to the BANDS OF BARRENNESS.
The word “to despise” (Hebrew: bazah) as used in the Scripture can mean “to abhor, lightly esteem, to scorn, to make vile.”
The Scripture states specific areas or things of God we are to be careful NOT TO DESPISE.
(II) THINGS OF GOD WE ARE NOT TO DESPISE
1. DO NOT DEPISE DAVIDIC WORSHIP
We are not to despise the EXPRESSION of biblical worship. Worship is highly esteemed by God: He seeks and requests it of His people. God has asked His worshippers to worship with their whole hearts, with full strength and with selfless abandonment. We must be very careful when exposed to a Davidic kind of worship that we do not despise, abhor or lightly esteem what God has called sacred, blessed and holy. Davidic worship was given in ZEAL and with EMOTION, with SHAMELESSNESS before the presence of God and with God as the focus.
V12-16 (Message) – It was reported to King David that GOD had prospered Obed-Edom and his entire household because of the Chest of God. So David thought, “I’ll get that blessing for myself,” and went and brought up the Chest of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David, CELEBRATING EXTRAVAGENTLY all the way, with frequent sacrifices of choice bulls. David, ceremonially dressed in priest’s linen, danced WITH GREAT ABANDON before GOD. The whole country was with him as he accompanied the Chest of God with SHOUTS and TRUMPET BLASTS. But as the Chest of God came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, happened to be looking out a window. When she saw King David LEAPING and DANCING before God, her heart filled with scorn.
V22 (Msg) – In God’s presence I’ll DANCE ALL I WANT!……… Oh yes, I’ll DANCE TO GOD’S GLORY – MORE RECKLESSLY even than this. And as far as I’m concerned…I’ll gladly LOOK LIKE A FOOL..
The term “Davidic Worship” is used to enclose the whole revelation of PARTICIPATIVE WORSHIP as presented in the Bible, giving special acknowledgement to King David who introduced in the book of Psalms the ways in which the whole of a person can express praise to God:
• Verbal acclamation
• Use of hands in lifting
• Playing of musical instruments
• Blowing of trumpets
• Bodily posture and movement like bowing, standing, kneeling
The way David praised God was in EXTRAVAGENCE, in TOTAL ABANDONMENT of his own pride and self-consciousness [to the point Michal calls him “undignified” (NKJV) and “vulgar fellow shamelessly uncovers himself” (RSV)], even RECKLESSNESS. And he expressed his worship with God in focus and to God’s glory.
These are the expressions of worship that a Michal attitude despises.
A despising of the biblical style of worship can be the cause of spiritual barrenness in churches.
E.g. I used to pass by this church and judging by their building and sign board, I know it is a very old and traditional church. But recently, I passed by again and I noticed the church has put up a new sign board beside its old name and call it JOY OF THE LORD CHURCH. I guess perhaps the new pastor has realized that old stoic style of worship has caused barrenness to the church and he wants to pump in joy and life to his church by reintroducing new Davidic style of worship.
The Scriptures exhort the Church to worship by offering spiritual sacrifices (1 Peter 2:5) with reverence and zeal (Psalm 69:9; 95:6).
Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
This Scripture exhorts psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Most churches sing psalms or hymns but what about SPIRITUAL SONGS – songs of spontaneous and spiritual nature? What about singing a new song to the Lord, a song of worship, praise and exaltation that is not of man-made origin (Psalms 40:3; 144:9, 1 Cor 14:26)? A true spirit of worship may be the power source to break the bands of barrenness of a stagnant, failing church.
Spiritual songs can be defined as songs of praise in a spontaneous or unpremeditated nature that are sung under the impetus of the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16). There are 85 specific places in Scripture that exhort the Church to sing praises to God (Psalms 47:6; 68:8,17; 98:9). Scripture indicates that praise offered to God in biblical fashion will bring mighty and supernatural results.
Let’s consider some of the benefits of sincere praise and worship:
• Praise and worship breaks spiritual bondage (1 Samuel 16:23).
• Praise and worship brings spiritual victory (Hos 2:14-18).
• Praise and worship uplifts the defeated spirit (Psalms 25:1; Isa 61:3).
• Praise and worship brings the presence of the Lord (2 Chronicles 5:13-14).
• Praise and worship releases the prophetic word (2 Kings 3:11-16; 1 Samuel 10:5,6,10).
Do you despise extravagant and liberated Davidic style of worship?
2. DO NOT DESPISE PROPHETIC GIFTS
We are not to despise the use of prophetic gifts in the Church.
1 Thessalonians 5:20 (NKJV) – Do not despise prophecies.
NIV- Do not treat prophecies with contempt.
Apparently the Christians at Thessalonica, like those at Corinth (1 Cor 14:1) had underrated the gift of prophecy. The directive may literally be translated, “Stop treating prophecies with contempt.” Certain “idle” believers had obviously misused this gift by falsifying data regarding the Lord’s return. These counterfeit utterances had soured the remainder of the flock against prophecy in general, so their tendency was not to listen to any more prophetic messages but to discount them in view of counterfeit utterances they had heard.
E.g. The BLOOD MOON PROPHECY is a hypothesis proposed by some Christian ministers such as John Hagee and Mark Blitz, which states that an ongoing TETRAD (a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses- coinciding on Jewish Holidays – with 6 full moons in between and no intervening partial lunar eclipses) which began with the APRIL 15 2014 LUNAR ECLIPSE is a sign of the end times as described in the Bible in Acts 2:20 and Revelation 6:12. On APRIL 15, 2014 there was a total LUNAR ECLIPSE. It was our first of four consecutive total eclipses in a series known as tetrad; a second one took place on OCTOBER 8, 2014, a third one on APRIL 4, 2015 and the remaining one will take place on SEPTEMBER 28, 2015. The idea of a “blood moon” serving as an omen of the coming of the end times comes from the Book of Joel, where it is written “the sun will turn into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. Based on this, they predict that the Second Coming of Jesus would occur in the fall of 2015 with the 7 year of great tribulation beginning in the fall of 2008.
I personally don’t believe that anyone can calculate the exact date of the second coming of the Lord. The Blood Moon Prophecy is one of the many controversial prophecies sweeping the world now. I am doubtful about it but I will not because of one doubtful prophecy begin to throw out all other prophecies.
By making light of prophetic utterances, these members (of the church in Thessalonica and Corinth) missed the EDIFICATION, ENCOURAGEMENT AND CONSOLATION (EEC) brought by the prophetic ministry.
Moreover by despising the prophetic utterances, their giver – the Holy Spirit- was being dishonored. In the Early Church, the gift of prophesying was like a mighty burning flame. It was not to be quenched or extinguished.
A church desiring to break the bands of barrenness must not despise the gifts of the Spirit, especially the gift of prophecy. And yet because there has been so much excess, abuse, counterfeit usage of prophecy, many churches do not accept it as an authentic gift for today’s church. If indeed, it is a gift of the Spirit, fueled by the Spirit and a voice of the Spirit, we would indeed be quenching the Holy Spirit by quenching prophecy.
New Testament prophecy is not the same as New Testament preaching. Two different Greek words are used with two different results. Prophecy grows out of the moving, ecstatic experience of being overcome by God’s Spirit in such a way that words spoken while in the Spirit come not from reflection and study, but solely from God for the edification of the Church. Preaching, on the other hand, is the studious approach to a subject followed by a speech of presentation.
Prophecy is a great companion and a wonderful complement to preaching. Prophecy is to build up the Church, to make great stated truths of Scripture become PERSONALIZED and REAL in a given setting. True prophecy does not contradict or replace Scripture at any time. It submits to and is judged by Scripture (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Cor 12:8-10; 14:1-6; 26-32; 1 Thess 5:19-22). We are not to cast away or despise the words spoken with the use of the prophetic gifts. There is power for deliverance, encouragement, vision and spiritual brokenness when this gift is allowed.
Do you despise prophecies?
3. DO NOT DESPISE THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD
In Hebrews 12:5-6, we are exhorted not to despise the God-sent correction of the Lord.
“And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons, “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”
Ministries, churches and believers of Christ at times will receive the correction of the Lord through a rebuke, a chastisement through circumstances or through people used to correct something we would rather not look at. A resistance to God-sent correction will ultimately confer a hardness of heart and result in spiritual stagnation or barrenness.
The word “discipline” combines the thoughts of CHASTENING and EDUCATION. It points to SUFFERINGS that teach us the ways of God. No circumstances are beyond God’s sovereign control and there are none He cannot use to carry out His purpose. Leaders and churches and even members are not to belittle this powerful tool in breaking the bands of barrenness. Could it be that a leader’s self-will, pride or ego-driven style of leadership is the band of barrenness on the church?
God in His love and wisdom will bring chastisement through circumstances, people or other ministries to humble and deliver such a leader. Chastening keeps us from becoming wayward prodigal sons. Chastening may be:
• PREVENTIVE – as with Paul’s thorn in the flesh.
• CORRECTIVE – which is administering discipline as with John Mark.
• ENLARGING – as in King David’s time in the wilderness in caves being harassed by King Saul
• BREAKING – a divine conquering of the human will so a total yielding to God will be accomplished.
If we want to break the bands of barrenness, we must not neglect the attitudes of our heart. We must refuse to despise those things that stretch us and cause us to lay down our rigidity. We must be pliable to God’s dealings with us, realizing that holy hearts are the incubators for the fulfilled purposes and promises of our Holy God.
Do you despise the chastening of the Lord?
4. DO NOT DESPISE AUTHORITY
2 Peter 2:9-17 (RSV)- then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion AND DESPISE AUTHORITY. Bold and willful, they are not afraid to revile the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a reviling judgment upon them before the Lord. But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and killed, REVILING IN MATTERS OF WHICH THEY ARE IGNORANT, will be destroyed in the same destruction with them, suffering wrong for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their dissipation, carousing with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children. Forsaking the right way they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a dumb ass spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. These are WATERLESS SPRINGS AND MISTS driven by a storm; for them the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved.
2 Peter 2 is a warning given by Peter against false teachers. The certainty of the punishment described in verse 9 is for all evil people but is especially true of the false teachers. These false teachers were indulging in the LUST OF DEFILING PASSION. This wording refers to sexual promiscuity, immorality and even perverted sexual practices. In addition, THEY DESPISE AUTHORITY.
This “authority” could refer to church leaders, angelic powers or to the false teachers’ denial of the “Sovereign Lord who bought them” (2:1). Most likely, the authority despised by the false teachers referred to all three; they didn’t want anyone over them. The false teachers lived as they pleased and laughed at the prospect of the Second Coming and judgment by God.
Application: Many in our world today mock the supernatural. They deny the reality of the spiritual world and claim that only what can be seen and felt is real. Like the false teachers of Peter’s day, they are fools who will be proven wrong in the end. Don’t take Satan and his supernatural evil powers lightly. Although Satan will be destroyed completely, he is at work now trying to render Christians complacent and ineffective.
Perhaps the false teachers’ biggest problem was having egos so overgrown that they had no respect for AUTHORITY – good or evil, lawful or Satanic.
• Egos that claimed: “No law condemns me, I am above every law. I am the law.
• Egos that boasted: “God is my aide, angels my servants. I am the greatest.”
• Egos that promised: “Only my will limits me. Only my boldness guides me. I am the master of my fate.”
E.g. If you think this portrait of Peter’s adversaries is too far-fetched, remember that in the 1930s even Christian people in Germany were attracted to the Nazi party, a movement full of ego that recognized no authority but its own. BEWARE OF BEING SO INDEPENDENT THAT YOU REJECT ALL AUTHORITY.
By despising authority, they become the WATERLESS SPRING and MIST DRIVEN BY STORM. Like a spring that gave no water, their messages could not deliver what they promised. Like clouds that brought no rain, their messages were without substance and could be blown away by the slightest wind of truth. To this group of people, God has reserved for them the nether gloom of darkness which is hell itself.
Do you despise authority?
5. DO NOT DESPISE THE DAYS OF SMALL BEGINNING
Zechariah 4:10 (NLT) – Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.
Do you remember what happened when the five loaves and two fish from the little boy were brought to Jesus? Instead of despising the boy’s small lunch, Jesus caused the small lunch to feed more than 5000 people with 12 baskets full of leftovers!
Application: Whatever you are building right now in your career, ministry or business, don’t despise the day of small, humble and seemingly insignificant beginnings.
Involve Jesus and allow His provision of favor, wisdom and power to multiply and grow the little things in your hands. See them as your very own “five loaves and two fish” even when people around you mock and belittle you. Learn to disregard such people and lay your little before Jesus. While you and I have no power to supernaturally multiply, Jesus certainly does.
E.g. A testimony written by a serving Christian- “Several years ago, I read a true story about the humble beginning of one of the most famous composers of all time. It told of how this composer rose to greatness and ended up touching countless lives by simply preparing music for the Sunday services at his church each week. At that time I read this amazing story, I was feeling very discouraged and disheartened in my work for the Lord. Reading about this man’s devotion and dedication inspired me and encouraged my heart. I had been laboring in the Lord’s name for many years, and had received little recognition or reward. I often asked myself questions like, “Where are the blessings? Where are my rewards?” I eventually discovered that the thing that helped me most was to shift my focus from “What’s in it for me?” to “How can I help others?”
The Bible clearly states that God’s people will be richly rewarded for loving and serving Him. But it doesn’t say WHEN we will be rewarded or even HOW. One reason for this is that God doesn’t want us focusing on our rewards but on doing the work He has assigned us to do while we are on earth. And He expects us to perform our work faithfully. Jesus said, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much” (Luke 16:10). Before the Lord entrusts us with big assignments, He tests us in smaller ones. Some people aren’t interested in doing seemingly insignificant tasks for God. What they don’t realize is that God may never allow them to do great things for Him unless they are first willing to do humble tasks and to prove themselves trustworthy.
Scripture says, Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” (Zechariah 4:10).” It is easy to despise the days of small beginnings. Small beginnings often come with hard work and little help. Small beginnings usually offer tall resistance and modest encouragement. Small beginnings typically see limited budgets and abundant setbacks. Nevertheless, whatever God has called you to do, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”
If you look at the people the Lord used most throughout the centuries, you’ll see that even the greatest of these started out small. One of these was the apostle Paul himself. He wrote, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service” (1 Timothy 1:12). As we prove ourselves faithful in each assignment the Lord gives us, He will reward us with greater opportunities to serve Him. Paul went through some incredibly hard times during his years of ministry but he fiercely fought against the urge to quit and give up and he inspired others to do the same. He said, “Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times (2 Corinthians 4:1 Message).
Hebrews 6:10 (NIV) – “God is not unjust. He will not forget your work and the love you have shown as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”
The Lord is a just and righteous God and He is committed to seeing that His people are rewarded and recognized for their work and devotion to Him. As one godly man puts it, “The rewards for doing right are sometimes delayed, but they are guaranteed by God Himself.”
If you are discouraged by the small beginnings, just focus on one thing at a time- helping one person at one time. If you are struggling with small beginning, don’t despise it. Rather believe and claim this promise from God – “Your beginning will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be” (Job 8:7 NIV). “And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great” (RSV).
(III) JESUS –THE DESPISED ONE
Now we have learned from the text that we must not have a Michal attitude by despising what God esteems like Davidic worship, prophetic gifts, chastening of the Lord, authority and the days of small beginning. Yet we all fail in upholding a cherishing attitude to all these things that God esteems. Let’s face it – we are more like Michal than David. We all have been skeptical and scornful of certain expressions of worship; we all have been critical of prophetic downloads given by people and we have quenched the prophetic flow in this church due to some false downloads by a certain group in this church; we have all despised and hated the chastening of the Lord upon our lives; we despise the authority of God over our lives – we insist on our ego-centric lifestyle; we despise our small beginning in our career, ministry, business and station of life. By right, we deserve the bands of barrenness and the nether gloom of darkness that comes along with the Michal attitude. But then Jesus – our greater David absorbed all our despising and became the DESPISED ONE.
Isaiah 53:3 – He was DESPISED and rejected by men…he was DESPISED AND WE ESTEEMED HIM NOT.
The epitome of a Michal attitude is to despise Jesus himself of which many of us were guilty of that at one point of our life before we were saved.
By living opposite of a Michal attitude, Jesus fulfilled what we couldn’t do by ourselves.
Instead of adopting a Michal attitude by despising Davidic worship, Jesus himself “is not ashamed to call them brethren; For He says, I will declare Your [the Father’s] name to My brethren; IN THE MIDST OF THE [WORSHIPPING] CONGREGATION I WILL SING HYMNS OF PRAISE TO YOU (Hebrews 2:11-12 Amp). In other words, when we worship God, Jesus joins in and sings along with us to praise our Heavenly Father, unlike Michal who only stood aloof at the upper window and watched condescendingly at worship. Jesus never stands high in heaven and look down condescendingly at us when we worship our Heavenly Father. He joins us in our worship!
When it comes to prophetic gifts, Jesus himself is prophecy fulfilled. Why would He despise prophetic gifting when he is the embodiment of a prophet and prophecy himself? Luke 7:16 –Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!”
Jesus also did not despise the chastening of the Lord himself.
Isaiah 53:5 –But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; UPON HIM WAS THE CHASTISEMENT that made us whole…”
V7 – like a lamb that is led to the slaugther, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
Even to the point of death as his chastisement from the Father for the sins of the world, Jesus did not resist that chastisement. He submitted to it like a lamb led to the slaughter silently.
Jesus recognizes that all authorities come from God. “I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 5:30). As such, while on earth, he submitted to the authority of his earthly parents, the chief priest, Pilate and even God himself.
Talking about small beginning – how small beginning can a deity have than to be born in the flesh in a lowly manger to a lowly parents at an obscure town, with a lowly profession of carpenter? Jesus has the humblest and smallest beginning than all of us but he did not despise but he trusted God to enlarge him and God did.
Jesus took the curse of our despising attitude and became the Despised One so that we can be free to love the things of God like He did. The very fact that he broke every facet of the despising syndrome is to tell us just as he had successfully cherished the things of God, so can you and me because it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Phil 2:13). Yes, God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
When our hearts become callous towards the things of God, we open ourselves to the Michal Attitude, despising the things of God that He esteems. The Michal Attitude is to teach us not to despise Davidic worship, prophetic gifts, chastening of the Lord, authority and small beginnings. When we harbor a Michal attitude, we will experience band of barrenness.
Jesus became the Despised One – absorbing all the sins and curses of our Despising Attitudes so that we can be broken from the bands of barrenness and be like Him- embracing all the things of God with reverence and joy so that the blessings can continue to flow in our lives.
Get rid of the Michal attitude in us!
PREACHED AT ETAB 1ST ENG SV ON 13 SEPT 2015