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6. David

6-2-5 David And Michal

As Jonathan's close friend, it was inevitable that David got to know his sister, Michal. David and Michal began their relationship on this basis. Jonathan's spiritual side would have had some reflection in his sister. For even Saul their father had a spiritual side, and it is fair to assume that Jonathan's mother was also a spiritual woman. It is easily overlooked that David later married Saul's wives (2 Sam.12:8)- including the mother of Jonathan and Michal. So now we can reconstruct the complex spiritual and emotional situation. David without doubt experienced a state of 'in-loveness' with Jonathan. His lament of 2 Sam.1 is proof enough of this. The spirituality which was in Jonathan was also seen in Michal his sister. And David loved Saul, too. Again, his lament over him is proof of this- it shows that David's loving respect for him was not just the result of a steely act of the will, forcing himself to patiently respect Saul. There was something in him which he loved. And we can assume that David did not just marry women whom he didn't spiritually  love. There was therefore something in Saul's wives which was spiritual. And the whole thing was not just one way. Jonathan loved David, " Michal, Saul's daughter loved David" (18:20), and Saul clearly had love-hate feelings for David; there was something about him which he deeply loved and respected. The intensity of his hatred of David must have been psychologically connected to a deep-seated love. " He loved him greatly" is the comment of 16:21. The seeds of the love between David and the house of Saul would have begun early on (1). The reason why  all this information is included is to provide comfort for us in the incredible emotional and spiritual complexities which we find ourselves in. In the flesh, David cannot have known which way to turn, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. Yet in the Spirit he could turn to his Heavenly Father, whose mind can totally fathom our pain, who can know in totality our every situation.


(1) The evidence presented here for David having close connection with the house of Saul from early on is not conclusive, but is surely worth pondering in the context of the David and Michal relationship. Against it could be advanced 17:58: " Saul said to (David, after killing Goliath), Whose son art thou?" . This cannot mean that Saul didn't know David, or who his father was; for in 16:19, before the Goliath incident, " Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son" to ease Saul's depressions. So the question of 17:58 perhaps implied something like: 'Whose son are you? Jesse's? No, from now on you're adopted into my family, you're my  son now, after all, you've been like a brother to Jonathan all down the years'. The fact that David replied that he was Jesse's  son may have been a polite refusal to accept this position. It may be that Saul had tried to adopt David earlier, when after David had been at the court for some time, Saul asked Jesse if David could " stand before me" (16:22). Another way of understanding Saul's apparent lack of knowledge of David, after having had much intimate association with him at the court in the past, is to conclude that Saul pretended  not to know David. In chapter 16, David has left his shepherding and is at the court, as Saul's personal counsellor and armourbearer. In chapter 17, he is back keeping the sheep. It may be that he ran away from the court after Saul tried to adopt him. In other words, he found that despite the close spiritual relationship he enjoyed with the family, Saul was overpoweringly possessive, and he just had to leave. Accordingly, Saul disowned him, hence his very public appearance of ignorance concerning who David was (17:55,56). When David later " avoided out of (Saul's) presence" (18:11), this would not have been the first time he had gone through this. His desire and need to do this was made all the more complex by his falling in love with Saul's daughter, Michal (18:26,28). We can well imagine how we would have loved to be Jonathan's brother-in-law. David and Michal were a marriage made in Heaven- that went wrong.