2 Samuel 6:16
And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window…
There is something very remarkable about this Michal; she conceived a passionate love for David, when but a youth he stood before her flushed with the success over the lion and the bear, and holding in his hand the head of the slaughtered Philistine. But time passed on, and David fetched the ark from the house of Obed-edom, and he "danced before it with all his might, and Michal, Saul's daughter, saw him, and despised him in her heart; and, more than that, she went out to meet him and insulted him. Now here we have a perfectly consistent character — a woman who by her natural disposition loved what was heroic, manly, and generous; but, the moment real religious principles were introduced, admiration was changed into contempt. She could only look on one side of the character, the natural one; the supernatural she could not appreciate. She reads many lessons to all members of the human race, and especially to women. In the general form of her character she was, as a woman, what Saul was as a man — able to appreciate the natural virtues of a man, and retaining the profession of religion as but the covering to a deep chasm of scepticism and infidelity.
1. The first striking feature of her character is the admiration of the heroic for its own sake, the undue estimation of the man in his vigour sad success, and the tendency to worship at that shrine.
2. But Michal was as narrow and confined on other occasions as she had been bold and noble in these. David danced before the ark, and she despised him. If we seek the cause of this inconsistency it will appear to consist in a kind of selfishness. She despised him! Woman is essentially jealous, she is created so, and she should be so, it is her province. She is created to receive an amount of attention and devotion, the best preservation of which lies in her jealousy of it. But jealousy may assume too much the air of selfishness. It may become selfish, narrow, and narrowing:
3. But again, Michal could not appreciate especially the religious act, while she could that of the mere world-hero. She was like her father. It belonged to her relationship, to her parent, not to her capacity as a female. Herein She was unlike her brother Jonathan, who did fully appreciate and value the religious element in David's character. Women often apply the same standard which has been given them at birth by which to judge of the ordinary occurrences which fall within the usual scope of their duties to those which fail without them, and accordingly by false judgment despise what they cannot understand. So prudence is allowed to extinguish the light of more luminous virtues, and the arrangements of a household to derange those of the Church. The faults of violent temper, disrespect to a husband or a parent, irritability to children, injustice to servants, are counted as of small importance so as they are exercised to save a shilling; whereas the truth will be that the precaution far transcends in moral infirmity the fault which it is intended to check.
4. But again, Michal despised David in her heart, and followed up her inward contempt with words of insult and reproach. This seems to infer not only a contempt for David, but a cherished one, a contempt long unexpressed, and because hidden the more dangerous and melancholy. She did not try to check it, she allowed the feeling to heave and work within her until it broke out into the expressions of the text. There is a duty in respecting a husband. Independently of arranging his household, tending his hours of care, of sickness or weariness, quite apart from the desire to defend him from reproach, and to ward oft the imputation of blame. There is a duty in the deep, inward, cherished feeling of respect. The office of the husband is as much to be respected as that of the parent, or the civil ruler. The woman must "see that she reverence her husband."
5. Michal despised peculiarly the act of David, his dancing before the ark, she said he was like "the vain fellows;" she cast opprobrious language on the man who with many infirmities was the man after God's own heart. Sad is it when any one looks out to discover his brother's failing; sadder still when that brother is one on whom God has set the seal of His approval; saddest of all, when a child looks out to expose the parent, or a wife the husband. But Michal's punishment was significant. She was childless, and that because she despised David. It mattered not what amount of truth there was in her charge. It mattered not how others supported her. It mattered not how much she found abettors in her circle of society or friends, she was not the person to censure her husband. She was not the instrument of his reproof. If there was anyone who should be, it was not Michal. She at least was to blame: She fell under God's malediction, quite irrespectively of the truth or justice of her charge.
Parallel VersesKJV: And 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 dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
WEB: It was so, as the ark of Yahweh came into the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out at the window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before Yahweh; and she despised him in her heart.