Domestic Religion
2 Samuel 6:20
Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said…

Then David returned to bless his household. An interesting contrast with what precedes. Would have been a pleasing close of the narrative but for what follows. Presents David in an attractive light. His piety did not shine merely in public before a crowd; it illuminated and blessed his home. He did not regard his high station and the weight of the cares of state as raising him above, or releasing him from, his duties as head of a household. Nor did he, after that busy and exciting day, think himself excused from family duty. He had blessed the people in the name of the Lord; he now returns to bless his household, i.e. to invoke God's blessing on them.


1. By maintaining and conducting family worship. Praising God with his family. Praying with and for them. Giving the worship a family character by the mention of family blessings, needs, sorrows, joys; the especial mention of special circumstances and events which affect the family, as they arise. Doing this regularly and perseveringly.

2. By the religious instruction of his family. Reading the Word of God as part of the daily worship. Teaching the children the truths and duties of Christianity, formally and informally. The latter as important, to say the least, as the former. Let the New Testament be the recognized guide of the house, to which every, thing is brought for judgment. Let its teaching be instilled insensibly as occasions arise in family life.

3. By family discipline. "Ruling well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity" (1 Timothy 3:4); encouraging right, forbidding and suppressing wrong conduct; regulating the companionships and occupations of his children. Family government on Christian principles and in a Christian spirit is itself a mode of instruction, and blesses a household.

4. By leading and accompanying his family to the house of God.

5. By setting a good example. The head of a household cannot perform his duties aright without personal piety. He cannot teach what he does not value and practise; his instructions and prayers will lack the reality which impresses; his character will deprive his words of their proper force. But a good life is a constant lesson. Children will learn from the spirit and conduct of a good father how to think of their Father in heaven, and how they may serve and please him. The unconscious influence of the parent's life will be a perpetually operating power for good.


1. It is his manifest duty. Seen as we contemplate:

(1) The relation of the family to God, as its Founder, the Originator of each household, the Lord of family life, the Source of all its peculiar affections, the Bestower of all its blessings, the Guardian of its weaker members (Christ's "little ones").

(2) The relation to God of the head of a household. His servant, his representative, appointed for this very service.

(3) The promptings of parental affection and godly principles, which are from God.

(4) The express injunctions of Holy Writ.

(5) The just claims of society, which has a right to expect that in the household good citizens should be trained and good members of the Church. The character and welfare of a people depend more on family life than on public law and force; and most fathers can best serve their country by training well their children. Let them render more public services if they are capable of them, but ever let them "return to bless their households."

2. He will thus best promote the welfare and happiness of his household. (See division III. of homily on ver. 11.)

3. His own happiness in his family will be greatly increased. If his desires for their good are granted, he will be a necessary partaker of their happiness, will rejoice that he has so largely contributed to it, and will receive a constant reward for his endeavours in their love and gratitude. If, through untoward circumstances, or counteracting influences against which he had no power to defend them, or through their own perversity, his efforts should fail, he will at least have the satisfaction of a good conscience. In conclusion, what has been said of the duty of fathers applies equally to mothers, who have more influence than fathers over the younger children, and often over the elder also, and always have most to do with the order and comfort and moral atmosphere of the home. - G.W.

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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 to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!

WEB: Then David returned to bless his household. Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, "How glorious the king of Israel was today, who uncovered himself today in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!"

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