"And (David's wife) Michal, daughter of Saul, came out to meet David and said, ‘How glorious was the king of Israel today, who stripped himself of his kingly robes and uncovered himself in the eyes of his servants' maids as one of the worthless fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!'"
II Samuel 6:20, Amplified Bible
"A Sarcastic Sneer and Scornful Ridicule"
"A sneer is like a flame; it may occasionally be curative because it cauterizes, but it leaves a bitter scar."
Have I ever treated another person in a sarcastic and sneering manner?
What were the results?
How do I feel when someone talks to me in a sarcastic tone and sneers at me?
"Many men (and women) have withstood an argument who fell before sarcasm."
Elizabeth Elton Smith
"Her sarcasm was so quick, so fine at the point - it was like being touched by a metal so cold that one doesn't know whether one is burned or chilled."
If you didn't know better, after reading the quote above by author Willa Cather, you might think she was giving a description of Michal in her book, My Mortal Enemy. (Ironically, the title of this book, penned in 1926, reflects quite well the relationship between King David and Michal, his first wife, Saul's daughter!)
When people make the comment, "Those two have a history between them," a truer statement could not have been made about David and Michal.
First of all, it appears that King Saul had untoward motives in trying to get David "into" his family. At first, he tried to have David marry his older daughter, but to no avail. However, something interesting happened! Michal, the Bible tells us, fell in love with David. It seems that after her older sister was given in marriage to another man, Saul's younger daughter, Michal, fell hard for David. Thinking to rid himself of his enemy once and for all, Saul demanded payment for his daughter's hand - - 100 foreskins of 100 Philistines. But instead of being killed in his endeavor to win the hand of Michal, David not only survived, he succeeded and soon the lovebirds took up residence in the royal palace. Unfortunately, Saul's hatred of David continued after the marriage and poor Michal was forced into the position of having to take sides, which she did extremely effectively when she saved David's life by helping him escape through a window and then planted a dummy in his bed, covering up David's absence.
With this history as the background and David's seeming abandonment of Michal after his escape from Saul, we are informed that Saul got Michal another husband and David helped himself to a treasure trove of wives in Hebron. But all those women weren't enough to satisfy David's appetite. He wanted more. So he demanded, in a transfer of political power, that Michal be returned to him - - forget the fact she was apparently happily married to another man who wept profusely when his wife was taken away.
Yes, David and Michal had a history, and a great deal of it was very painful. As a result, when David arrived home with a song in his heart and rejoicing on his lips, his blessings upon his family were cut short by the entrance of wife number one, Michal, who came into the picture, not with blessings in her mouth, but with a sarcastic sneer.
The word sarcasm is derived from the Greek meaning to, "strip off the flesh." As we read Michal's words, they are cruel and cutting, which is how sarcasm is defined. Her words cut and stripped the flesh in David's heart! Michal used veiled humor in a caustic manner to ironically try and toss some sneering praise David's way. Sad for her, she came across sounding shrill and demeaning. As Edward Young noted, sarcasm, "leaves a sting in a brother's heart," and this is exactly what happened to David. From a blessing to a bashing! That's what happened between David and Michal and it really should inspire each of us to think about the way we use our words, both positively and negatively, within the confines of our home and with our families.
If ever there is a form of "word use" which I have personally found to be particularly destructive, it is sarcasm. We had a family member whose favorite way of communication was, as I called it, to "slash and burn." They did it with their tongue. They would pour out the most cutting words only to retort, if you took any offense at all, "Oh, I was only joking!" It is not kind or gracious - - it is not Christ like - - to demean another with sarcastic language that is promoted as a joke, yet underneath the hilarity, lies a knife that carves and scars. This is exactly what Michal used when she sneered at her husband's jubilation.
David was coming home to bless and instead was harassed with the blade of sarcasm. Tomorrow, we're going to continue to learn from this interaction for by ruining a moment of blessing, Michal not only wounded David, but herself as well.
"A sneer is the weapon of the weak."
James Russell Lowell
"Bestow on me, O Lord, a genial spirit and unwearied forbearance; a mild, loving, patient heart; kindly looks, pleasant, cordial speech and manners in the exchanges of daily life; that I may give offense to none, but as much as in me lies live in charity with all."
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus is available where Christian books are sold. They can also be purchased through Paypal at www.transformationgarden.com or by calling our office toll-free at 1-888-397-4348.
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