“I will make merry before the LORD.” 2 Samuel 6:21
“Sing to the Lord, all the earth! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods. Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.” 1 Chronicles 16:23-25,28-29
2 Samuel 6 is riveting, beginning with David’s impulsive effort at bringing God’s ark to Jerusalem that failed because he had not sought God’s rule and favor. God judged, David feared. Then he realigned his heart to follow God’s prescribed way, danced before the LORD in a celebratory procession of priests carrying the ark into the tent he had pitched for it, and then had a marital spat with his sarcastic, jealous wife Michal. His resolve in the tension? “I will make merry.”
I won’t say Michal had no reason to be angry with David, but in this instance she missed the point that he was leading his people to embrace: God is great and worthy of honor and praise, and we must rejoice in His presence (represented in the ark). David followed placing the ark with offerings to God, blessing the people, including his household, in the name of the Lord, and distributing gifts to all who were present. David’s song of 1 Chronicles 16 is the spillover of his heart, which was captivated with God, while Michel’s was full of despising and spitting resentment. We never see evidence the LORD is her first love. David had learned a hard lesson with the death of Uzzah on his first attempt at moving the ark, but had surrendered to God and His way, even if that required self-abasement. He had a wife who was not supportive, but blessed her anyway. Obedience brought great joy. Michal was stuck in the mire of flesh and feelings, and was a bitter woman.
When we learn of increased persecution of Christians around the world, and are reminded by anniversaries of terrorism and natural disasters, we can determine how to respond. As we face ominous threats, debilitating pain, stinging opposition, or unjust accusation, will we fret, complain, blame, or by make merry before the LORD?
Lord God, great are You and greatly to be praised! May I ever ascribe to You the glory due Your name! May my voice resound with the heavens and the sea, and sing for joy with all creation, that You are good; your steadfast love endures forever. Amen. (1 Chronicles 15:25,28,31-34)