Today's devotion from 2 Samuel 5 & 6.

As we read chapters 5 & 6, we see David's rise climax as the nation unites under his leadership, the Philistines are defeated, and the ark is returned to where it belongs. It is here, in these verses that we come to the well-known story of David dancing before the Lord. Usually, when we read this account our attention is fixed on the scantily clad David making merry before the Lord as the ark is returned. When Michal, Saul's daughter and his wife, confronts him, we typically look down on her, while seeing David's actions as favorable.

I'm not really advocating that we change any of those things, but I do think we need to heed a warning from Michal. You see, scripture tells us that she loved David as much as Jonathan at one time. (1 Samuel 18:20) As Saul spiraled out of control and David was forced to flee, and Michal saved his life. (1 Samuel 19:11) Then, something happened that radically altered her life: Saul gave Michal to another man. (1 Samuel 25:44) A little later we are told that Michal, who did not have children, was forced to take on her sister's children after her premature death. (2 Samuel 21:8) When David ascended to power, he was able to reclaim Michal as his wife, but it devastated her other husband. (2 Samuel 3:14)

Why do we need to rehash all of Michal's life? I think these events illuminate how the twists and turns of life had changed her. You can almost read her story as the young, naive romantic who's world came crashing down around her. Her first love was condemned and she was yanked to the bed of another man. We have no idea if she loved him or not, but where was her choice in the matter? Her family was assassinated. She was forced back into a relationship with David. Now, older and a bit more jaded, Michal is hardened.

Life has a way of suffocating the dreams of childhood. However, we do have a choice. Many of the injustices that turned Michal's heart to stone were weathered by David as well. In his case, these seemed to force him to be more dependent on God.

What's the lesson to learn from Michal? Life is hard. Those difficulties will either push you away from God, or drive you closer to Him. Be intentional in your response.