While we men don’t like to acknowledge it, we are concerned about how we look to those around us. Oh I’m not referring to outward physical appearance so much as I am acceptance and acknowledgement by those we believe to be our peers. We have to be in the right club, the right
civic organization, the right social event, the right recreation choice, and yes, it even gets down to the right church or Sunday school class. Guys, lets face the fact that we believe we have to portray a certain image in order for us to have our desired status. Whether it’s a “goody two shoes” image, a “bad boys” image or something in between, we work hard at doing the things necessary to earn that image. We wish to be “dignified” by our chosen peer group which means we want to be worthy and honored by those we value or believe to be important. Unfortunately, we sometimes place higher priority on being dignified before men rather than honoring God.
David is one of my favorite people to study from the Bible. He is such a vivid example of the challenges of being God’s man in a world that defies such an attempt. As men we particularly like his acts of courage and bravery but there are other events that we would rather just overlook or ignore about David’s life. There is an event that is captured in 2 Samuel where David is bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. As the Ark is being brought into the city scripture tells us “David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets. (2 Samuel 6: 14-15) Verse 16 tells us he was “leaping and dancing before the Lord.” I would imagine at this point some of you are swallowing hard and asking yourselves “can this be the same David that killed the giant named Goliath?” The answer is yes, David knows he is bringing blessings to the house of Israel because he has been obedient to God’s instructions. David understands that it is not important what people observing him think, it is most important that he obey his Heavenly Father, even if some think it foolishness. David is visibly demonstrating the extreme joy that comes from a right relationship with the Creator of all things.
To help us understand the significance of David’s obedience, we have to look at all of verse 16 which says “As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.” Michal, David’s wife, was worried about how her husband looked to those present at this event. She was so appalled by his behavior that she “despised him in her heart.” Verse 20 tells us “When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, ‘How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!” You can hear the contempt in her voice as you read these words. The sarcasm of the word “distinguished” when it is clear she means quite the opposite. Her response is clearly the result of concern over status and how one will appear to the world around them rather than compliance and obedience to God.
David has a response to Michal and it is certainly not one of agreement or apology. Verse 21-22 says “David said to Michal, ‘It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” I love how David says “I will become even more undignified than this” in response to Michal’s reprimand. David clearly knows who is worthy of his praise and he desires to be worthy and honored by the one who can truly “dignify” him for eternity. He says “I will be humiliated in my own eyes.” David understands that there are times when obedience to God’s direction will not “look right” to our human eyes but God will bring honor to what we do.
The real question is where are you today? Are you worried about your “status” with those around you or are you focused on your obedience with your Heavenly Father? Are you willing to become more undignified in the world’s eyes to honor and praise the one who chose you and gave you eternal life through his Son, Jesus Christ? Search your heart and take an honest look at where your life is in relationship to where God wants it to be. If there are things that are getting in the way of a right relationship with God then today is the time to remove those obstacles. Become a man after God’s own heart as David was described and “celebrate before the Lord.”