Learning From The Story of Michal

I love a story with a happy ending.

A few days ago, a friend posted on Facebook about how upset she was when she watched a Disney sequel where the girl ends up with another guy, not her original love. I mean it is Disney, after all, the princess ALWAYS get her prince charming, right? Apparently not.

Which brings me to the book I finished reading today. Michal is the first book in Jill Eileen Smith's The Wives of King David Series and the second book of that series I have read.

Even before reading the book, I knew that Michal's story did not have a happy ending. I have read the story of David, one of my favorite Biblical characters, many times and in doing so I have read the story of Michal.

While Smith's rendering of the first wife of David is based on the accounting of Scripture, she does weave fiction into the story. Mostly in Michal's motives and thoughts. In how she feels and reacts as her life unfolds.

And in this retelling of her story, I find myself hurting for Michal. I will even admit to shedding a few tears at the end of her story. The circumstances she found herself in are heartbreaking. Daughter of  a crazy king, she was in love with her father's chief enemy. Although she was able to marry David, she had to help him escape. And leave her behind. She was given in marriage to another man. She, I am sure, heard the news that the man she loved had taken other wives. She could do nothing as her family was killed or died so that the God's plan for David to take the throne could take place. She never even had any children.

In all of this, rather than turn to God, we see her heart turn away from Him. It's first evident in 1 Samuel 19:13 when she has an idol in the house which she pretends is David in the bed when her father's men come to kill him. In  the last verse to mention her in the Bible (1 Chronicles 15:29), Michal despises David in her heart because he is worshiping God by dancing in the streets.

That is how her story ends in Scripture: hating the man she once loved because he worships God with abandon.

Michal let her circumstances and the unfairness of life enter her heart and turn it bitter. I do not say this to judge Michal. I cannot say what I would have done in her place.

I only say all of this because this book and the Scripture that I reread now are reminders that I cannot let my circumstances be the definition of my relationship with God. It is so easy to get angry with God when things do not go our way and when we are hurt. But we live in a sinful world where we have free will and are allowed us to make our own choices. And sometimes those choices, and often the choices of others, lead to hurt and heartache.

But God loves us. Even when our circumstances and situations seem to be bigger than we can handle, He will always walk with us through them.

David, who in his own right had to walk a hard rode, understood this. Even as he cried out to God about his situation, he said these words in Psalm 42:5-6.

"But I trust in your unfailing love;
My heart rejoices in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord
For He has been good to me."

I pray that that is my praise regardless of my circumstances.


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