By Lori Rodeheaver
Our insecure, intimidated king, Saul, has now resorted to “watching” David. He’s gone so far as to rally his troops to David’s house and lie in wait to kill him. This, without a single charge – nothing of which to accuse him. Saul’s mission is fixed upon his one-track thought – murder.
Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him, that he might kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, told him, “If you do not escape with your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down through the window, and he fled away and escaped. 13 Michal took an image and laid it on the bed and put a pillow of goats’ hair at its head and covered it with the clothes. 14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.” 15 Then Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.” 16 And when the messengers came in, behold, the image was in the bed, with the pillow of goats’ hair at its head. 17 Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me thus and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?” And Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go. Why should I kill you?’” ~1 Samuel 19:11-17
There was no discussion. There was no willingness to communicate honestly or logically. There was no seeking of peace or reconciliation. No. Saul’s fear, insecurity, and sin kept him from a rational approach towards any man who was rational and secure. Instead, his motive is always evil and his goal is simply to do away with David altogether – no matter what the cost.
…But Michal, David’s wife, told him, “If you do not escape with your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed…
Michal warned David. She told him to leave lest he be killed by her father. She lowered him down through the window and he ran away. She tried to cover for him by putting a statue in his bed and telling the assassins he was sick.
But a flimsy excuse like sickness wasn’t going to stop this blood-thirsty man. He tells his assassins to have the bed brought to them! Sick or well, Saul’s fit to kill. Nothing like kicking a man when he’s down,huh?
But the truth was that David wasn’t sick. He was wise. And when wisdom is viciously attacked and violently pursued for no valid reason, wisdom flees. Despite the fact that he doubtless could have taken all these men on and beat them in a brawl without breaking a sweat, David relies more on wisdom than he does self-sufficiency. Instead of taking these wicked men on and handing them their asses, he writes the 59th psalm and professes his innocence and desperate need of God’s protection and justice. Such is a godly choice, especially for a man “better versed in the art of fighting than of flying.” (Matthew Henry)
Well, someone’s got to pay for this outwitting of Mr. Murdermind.
Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me thus and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?” And Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go. Why should I kill you?’” ~1Samuel 19:17
Wait a minute…what?! The woman who loved, helped, warned, and covered for David defames him? What?!!
Although David did have his day later with Uriah, at this point David wasn’t the murderer – Saul was! Yet, here, we have the one closet to him slandering him as such before the powers that be. Why?
Why couldn’t Michal just tell the truth? Why couldn’t she say, “Please, Daddy! I love David! Please don’t kill him! He’s a good man! Leave him alone you big bully!” If anyone had the position to say such things, it was Michal – daddy’s little girl. Why did Michal sound more like her slanderous father than her courageous brother? (Remember how Jonathan went to bat for David when he knew his father’s intent to kill?) David’s own wife blackens him before his enemy.
And the final answer is: fear. Fear is what influenced and controlled Michal. Like father, like daughter I suppose. She simply isn’t willing to go down, even for someone as close to her heart as David. She isn’t willing to take the heat when it comes right down to it. She’s self-preserving, and she doing it at the expense of her righteous and honorable husband. Funny how attitudes and affections change when the rubber meets the road.
Our Enemy is a cold-blooded , one track mission, murderer. He offers no fair trial, no honest discussion, and no rational reconciliation. There will never be peace between us and he. If we have any wisdom, we will run away when warned. We must resist him and remember that even good intentions are spoiled by fear. Cowardice is not wisdom, but running away isn’t always cowardice; sometimes it’s wisdom. It’s like the biggest guy in the bar being instigated by the 10 smaller ones. He can take them all down but if he does, he’ll end up in prison. True cowardice is not what David displayed, but what Michal displayed. True cowardice throws anyone and everyone under the bus in an effort to self-preserve.
Therefore, if the Enemy ends up drilling us, we must not lie. Although he will try to do away will us at all costs, we must be willing to both resist him and stand up to him at all costs. Why?
Because Jesus is our righteous husband and he is worthy of an honest confession – no matter how high the personal cost to ourselves. Don’t be two-faced. Don’t defame Christ in the face of the enemy like Michal did to David. Honor him like Jonathan.
And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you. 5 For he took his life in his hand and he struck down the Philistine, and the Lord worked a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause?” ~1 Samuel 19:4-5
Everyday Encounters with the Creator