33. Do not stay bitter

Last time we saw how David brought the ark of God back into Jerusalem. His heart was right and he wanted to honor God and have Him close to them. But he went about it the wrong way and Uzzah died in the process. At the end David learned from that and brought the ark back in correct fashion and he celebrated all the way. Today we should also make sure that our zeal for God is directed at the right things and that we flow with His Spirit and not where we think we should go.

Now as David brought the ark of God back into Jerusalem, he danced with all his might. Everyone was in a festive mood and celebrated with David, all except his first wife, Michal.

"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." 2 Samuel 6:16

And the moment he came home she went out to meet him:

"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!" 2 Samuel 6:20

She was obviously very upset with him. David didn't stand back and answered her:

"It was before the Lord, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the Lord. And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humbled in my own sight. But as for the maid servants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor." 2 Samuel 6:21, 22

The Bible tells us that she stayed childless for the rest of her life, which was a terrible thing for women in those days.

The first time I read it I almost had sympathy for Michal. She truly loved David when they first married. She even helped him to escape from her father and saved his life in the process. Then she didn't see him for several years. She was married to another man, Palti. Then when David was crowned king, he sent for her. She had to basically divorce Palti, to be David's wife again. The Bible records how Palti cried when she left, indicating that he loved her very much. But she was now David's once again. The only problem was that she wasn't David's only wife anymore, he had many others too. So given the circumstances one can almost understand why she is bitter. I actually feel sorry for her. But the point to understand here is that she stayed bitter due to her circumstances, plus she didn't have the same zeal and enthusiasm for God as David did. I mean the whole of Israel was celebrating that God was going to dwell with them once again. They were dancing and singing; only she wasn't. She didn't appreciate God in their lives, she was too bitter. She didn't like it that David humbled himself before the Lord. And it cost her in the end.

There might have happened many things in your life that wasn't fair, especially this year during the COVID-19 epidemic. You might have good reason to be bitter. Your life might not have turned out as you had planned, you might have legitimate reasons to be angry and frustrated. But don't stay that way. Don't become a bitter old person who complains the whole time. Rather look up to God and rejoice in what lies ahead. Rejoice in new beginnings. Rejoice that He dwells with you and that He has good plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11). Celebrate with other people, be glad when they are prospering and having their dreams fulfilled. Don't despise them, looking out of the bleak window of your soul. No, rather be part of their celebrations. Humble yourself before the Lord, and then He can use you and exalt you. If you stay inside, trapped by bitterness, more bitterness will manifest, it is just the way it is. Things will never change if you decide to wallow in it. True change will only come when you are walking and rejoicing with God, submitting to His will.

Father we are sorry that we can so easily become bitter due to our life's circumstances. We don't want to be that way. We want to follow You and rejoice with others. In praise and worship lies so much power and in joy is our strength. We want to follow You in it all. Amen

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