KING AT LAST
To receive this weekly devotional and other content for your spiritual renewal, subscribe to our new Renew Newsletter.
Christians are always supposed to be happy, right? While we know this is the ideal, it’s not always true. Part of living in a world full of sinful people means things can go wrong, people will irritate, and situations will become challenging. Sometimes it can happen all at the same time, tempting a Christian to become resentful, angry, or bitter.
Michal, Saul’s daughter and David’s wife, seemed to have hit that point when David arrived home from bringing the Ark to Jerusalem. We’re told she saw David and “despised him.” Strong words! What could have caused her to reach this level of disgust?
We’re told she saw David and “despised him.” Strong words! What could have caused her to reach this level of disgust?
Many years earlier Michal was given by her father, Saul, to David as his wife. What she didn’t realize was that Saul had ulterior motives. He was intent on killing David. However, Michal stepped in to save David’s life by helping him to escape. Neither knew then that it would be the last time they’d see each other.
Saul then gave Michal to another man, who she lived with for at least 10 years. Michal and David were reunited when David asked for Michal as a surety of good faith that he would become Israel’s king. When Michal was returned, her then husband wept tears of extreme grief. We don’t know if Michal was glad to see David or sad to leave her husband, but we know she became hostile toward him. Her apparent use as a political pawn makes her feelings understandable.
Her apparent use as a political pawn makes her feelings understandable.
A Holocaust survivor once said, “If you could lick my heart, it would poison you.” Strong words, reflecting great bitterness. Michal might have felt the same. When evil affects us through no fault of our own, and we don’t regularly deal with these continued assaults by a sinful world, the effect can build within us until eventually as the survivor said, we become “poisonous” not only to us, but to others.
So, what’s the solution? What are we to do? There’s no easy answer, but as I studied and prayed on this story, I believe the solution is found in forgiveness. Whether it’s a small slight or a great injustice, the only cure for the heart is found in forgiving the offending individual.
The only cure for the heart is found in forgiving the offending individual.
I heard a radio preacher say, “Forgiveness is not a feeling, it’s a choice.” In other words, we have to recognize our inability to deal with whatever or whoever is causing us to feel wounded. Choosing to forgive empowers you, not the wrongdoer. It allows God to step in. In forgiving, we give God permission to help us heal.
Forgiveness isn’t easy. It can happen in a moment, or it may mean making a conscious choice every day. But once we take the first step, we will feel lighter in heart, more spiritually connected, and we will be renewed.
Renew is designed for busy people—for you. This walk through the Bible, from Genesis to the time of King Saul, will stimulate your thinking and refresh your soul.
- Short devotions
- Deeper understanding in just a few minutes
- Suggestions for life application
A perfect gift for mom, dad, aunt, uncle, grandma, or grandpa! A must read that will make the Bible come alive.
[Author’s note: I found this particular Digging Deeper exciting. If you don’t have time to read all of it, drop down to the last paragraph.]
Part of this week’s lesson was about the return of the Ark to Jerusalem. David’s first attempt ended in the death of Uzzah. David returned to Jerusalem in defeat, leaving the Ark in a nearby home. David left the Ark because he recognized his sin. David, while he had good intentions, had failed to treat the Ark with the honor due a holy God.
David spent three months getting his heart in the right relationship with God. He planned a triumphal return of the Ark to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15). We’re told David planned music for the occasion, which he wrote himself.
Psalm 68, written by David, is a Psalm of Ascent as it describes the return of the Ark to Jerusalem. You can almost see the triumphant procession as you read.
Verses 1-2: The Ark was lifted on the shoulders of the priests
Verses 3-6: The entire assembly was encouraged to sing praises
Verses 7-10: Moving forward, they remembered the Israelite march in the wilderness
Verses 11-14: Victories of war were celebrated
Verses 15-19: The shouts increased as the Ark moved up the hill toward Jerusalem
Verses 20-23: The priests sang a hymn
Verses 24-27: The procession was described
Verses 28-31: They sang in anticipation of the conquest of other nations
Verses 32-35: Final burst in song
What’s exciting about the last four verses of Psalm 68 is that Ellen White reveals that these same four verses were sung by the heavenly angelic choir as Jesus ascended into heaven—these very words written by David! (Acts of the Apostles, pp. 32-33) She also writes that parts of Psalms 66, 68, and 72 were sung often by Jesus as a boy (Youth’s Instructor, September 8, 1898). Why do you think these three psalms appealed to Jesus?
Making it Real
Jesus found strength in singing. Spend time reading Psalm 68, particularly the last four verses. Try writing a song about the coming of Jesus. What kind of words would you use to describe His coming?
Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being the grandmother of two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus.