"And Ishbosheth sent and took her (Michal) from her husband, from Paltiel son of Laish to whom Saul had given her. But her husband went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, ‘Go back.' And he did so."
II Samuel 3: 15, 16, Amplified Bible
"The Temptation To Take What Isn't Yours"
"All I wanted was a man with a single heart."
Have I ever tried to take something or someone that wasn't mine?
How did things turn out?
Has anyone ever tried to take something or someone from me?
"That which is won ill, will never wear well."
"I saw this thing turn, like a flower, once picked, turning petals into bright knives in your hand. And it was so much desired, so lovely that your fingers will not loosen, and you have only disbelief that this, of all you have ever known, should have the possibility of pain."
It began as a fairy-tale love story. In I Samuel 18: 28, the Bible says that, "Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David and that Michal his daughter loved him (David)."
The relationship between David and Michal started out as many relationships do - - at least in Michal's eyes. We girls have gentle, tender hearts. I've rarely met a hardened woman who was incapable of falling in love. And in defense of some of the "tough" girls I've met, their emotional shield was worn because a shattered heart lay underneath the armor.
However, the Bible is clear that in the case of Michal, she loved David. Who knows, David may have married Michal only because she was the king's daughter and the arrangement seemed to be to his benefit. We aren't told. But I'm willing to initially give David the benefit of the doubt because at the point in his life, when he met Michal, he had been spending a great deal of time in nature, communing with his Heavenly Father. I believe spiritual time is necessary for all relationships to succeed. Especially when there is always rocky terrain which every relationship encounters throughout life's journey.
One thing was certain, though, when King Saul and David had a falling out, Michal took David's side, even going so far as to deceive her father in order to protect her husband. Yet once David fled Saul's presence, we never hear one thing about David seeking to retrieve his wife. The Bible doesn't even leave a record that David asked about her well-being. As far as we know, Michal was out-of-sight, out-of-mind. And then, David married two other women and we find out Michal was given, by her father, to Paltiel as his wife. Since women at that time were frequently treated as property and possessions, let's get this straight - - Michal was not able to say much about the situation. She was taken from one man she loved and given to another.
But here's where the Bible does let us in on something special that developed between Michal and Paltiel. When Michal's brother, Ishboseth, at the demand of David, came and ordered Michal to come with him and leave her husband and go back to David, Paltiel wept. He followed along crying his eyes out. And I have to tell you, this scene brings tears to my eyes, too. I can come to only one conclusion - - Paltiel loved Michal. And yet love didn't matter. David had the authority and power to take Michal back, no matter whom he wounded in the process.
I want us to remember this scene in the next few weeks as we continue to study the life of David. At times, God appears to have dealt harshly with a man whom God said had a heart after His. But what we find lurking in many of the unread passages of the Bible, are the answers and the background and the reasons that God, who is so patient with His children, finally says, "Enough is enough." I hope you will remember the way David treated Paltiel as we continue to study about Michal and then Bathsheba.
The famed author Virginia Woolf wrote in To The Lighthouse, "There was no treachery too base for the world to commit." As sad as I am to write these words, what we find out about David during the waiting time he spent in Hebron gathering up 6 wives and beginning to see how he could use his personal power, is that David also fell into a trap of using treachery to accomplish his desires. While Michal, technically, had been given to David as his wife, he certainly hadn't "kept in touch." But once King Saul was out of the way and David had Abner, the head of Saul's army under his thumb, he stretched out his arm of power and reeled in the helpless Michal along with stomping on the feelings of her husband who followed along weeping.
The last words of our text today say that Paltiel, when told to go back, "Did so." And I asked myself, "What choice did he have?" As David had unfortunately shown, Paltiel might have been killed if he had not obeyed the king. And this is the first glimpse we get into what happens when we decide we can take what isn't ours. Oh, there are consequences - - sometimes unseen ones. Sometimes consequences don't rear their heads for years. But then, as in David's life, the chickens come home to roost and the seeds that were planted yield a tragic crop.
This particular story has had such an impact on me right now because it appears, here in the United States, that the story of taking what isn't ours and then reaping what we sow could be ripped from the headlines of our own newspapers as families are torn apart by those who wish to fulfill their own personal desires without any thought of the consequences of their behavior.
But for those who take time to look to Hebron, we can find the warning signs that prevent us from taking a fall when we arrive on the throne in the city of David. Too bad those who have fallen and choose to refer to David as their fallen hero receiving God's mercy and forgiveness, didn't spend a little more time in Hebron to find out why David thought he could ever use his power and authority in such a godless way. There are consequences. And this story isn't a fairy-tale for no one in David's life truly lived happily ever after!
"No player hath so many dresses to come in upon the stage with as the devil hath forms of temptation"
"Lord, cleanse and sweeten the springs of my being, that Your freedom and light may flow into my conscious mind and into my hidden unconscious self."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, 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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