Others wisdom for living

She despised him in her heart

“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.” (2Sam 6:16NIV)
It was a great day for King David, the day the Ark of God’s Covenant was brought into the place he had prepared for it. So he danced before the Lord with all his might (2Sam 6:14). Why? It was because he was appreciative of all the good things He had done for him. He was just a common shepherd boy, when the Lord sent Prophet Samuel to anoint him king instead of the then ruling king, Saul (1Sam 16:1-13). And a few years later, he was not only sitting on the throne of Israel as king; he was also privileged to set up a place in his city where the Lord’s Ark would be placed.
So you see that David could be nothing but thankful to God for all He had done for him. And he was not ashamed to express this before others. That was why he danced with all his might before the Lord and before all the people he had made him king over. In short, the more he thought about how far He had brought him, the more he sang and danced before him.
All this, however, did not go down well with his first wife, Michal, the daughter of King Saul, who was watching from a window. She had been raised as royalty. So, when she saw the way David was jumping up and down and dancing in the full glare of everybody, she was upset. Why? She felt David was not acting royal at all – he was disgracing the crown by acting the way he was acting before everybody. She may even have said to herself, “My father or my brother, Jonathan, would never have acted like this. They both knew how to act majestic and royal in everything they did. But this David — surely royalty does not suit him at all.”
So then, the bible says, “She despised him in her heart.” Think about that. This woman despised a man, who was being nothing but grateful, for unashamedly giving thanks to God. And as the account further shows us, she did not stop at just despising David in her heart. When he came home to bless his household, she also went out, not to welcome him home but to tell him to his face what sort of disgrace he was to the throne of Israel. So, instead for the man to bless her, he did not. Instead, he rebuked her for failing to see that it was God, the one who chose him in place of her father, that he was celebrating. And that was how her barrenness remained stuck to her till the end of her time on earth. (Cf. 2Sam 6:20-22)
Now what is the lesson for us in this account? It is that we must never despise, whether secretly or openly, any act of service or worship of others before God. The fact that you feel uncomfortable with the way someone is serving or worshipping God does not mean that they are wrong. And as long as they are not wrong, God accepts them and whatever they are doing for Him. If you, then, despise them and their worship or service for any reason, you will never be a partaker of the blessings and favours of God that are being released on their lives and through their lives. And who knows whether those are just what you need to experience divine liberty from the barrenness you are experiencing in certain areas of your life?
Then, even if someone is wrong and contrary to the will of God in their worship or service to Him, and you are quite sure that they are, despising them is not in any way going to help them get things right; it will only shut whatever door of opportunity you might have had in helping them. Unfortunately, in most cases where people despise others because they are worshiping God or serving Him in certain ways, it is not because they are sure those people are utterly wrong; rather, it is often because they are irritated that those people are doing what they are just too proud to do. So, they begin to nurse evil thoughts about them and may even go to the extent of openly criticising them. But as I pointed out before, when you allow the devil to push you to start acting in that manner, it won’t be long before you shut certain doors of your life against fruitfulness.
Therefore, guard your heart with all diligence against evil thoughts and bitterness of every kind. And may God keep you from using your own mouth to ruin your life.
Others wisdom for living


Many read the bible and study the Scriptures, but they have not fully come to terms with the fact that these things are meant to be applied to life. The things we teach, the things we learn in our meetings, are meant to be applied to life. So, we must not just focus on studying the Scriptures, we must also learn how they apply to life.
I wouldn’t know what comes to your mind each time you sit down to listen to a sermon and make notes. Do you consider how and where the things you are learning apply to life? You ought to consider that. As you listen to a sermon, you should be able to say, “This is where this applies.” Or, “I should be able to apply this where I work.” Or, “I should be able to apply this in my school.” Or, “I should be able to apply this in my business.” But if you cannot see how these things apply to life, I am telling you, you are just wasting your time. And that is one of the problems most people that attend schools of Theologies and Seminaries usually have. Nothing is wrong with attending such schools. But the truth is that whatever you get there is just book knowledge. And until you are able to apply it to life, it does not count for anything.
And you know that is also one of the problems we have in Nigeria today. Our students learn a lot of things in School, things that they do not know where they are applicable in life. Those of you who are still in school and are reading this, do you know where the things you are learning in school are applicable? In some other climes, they spend a lot of time on finding out where the things they teach and learn are applicable. They keep asking, “Where can we apply this law? Where can we apply that law?” But we don’t do that here. We just read to pass examinations and read to get some certificates. And then when you get out there, they will tell you that you are not employable, because you are useless. Why? The things you have learnt, you cannot bring to bear upon life.
So, it is important to know how the knowledge of the Scriptures you have relates to life. It is not in reading more Scriptures. Of course, it is good to read the Scriptures, more and more of them. But this goes beyond reading more Scriptures or memorising more Scriptures. I know there are people who busy themselves memorising Scriptures. I am not against memorising Scriptures. I memorise Scriptures too. But if you don’t know where these Scriptures apply or how apply them to your relationships, activities and all of life, they will not work. It is only the Scriptures that you apply in your life that will produce results.
(Adapted from ‘The essence of Christian living in the world’, a Sunday 20th December 2015 Sermon by J.O. Lawal.)