I have decided to open my blog with a recent study, and kind of an introduction to who I am. My name is Michal. It’s not a name I go by, unless on legal documents, but it is Michal nonetheless. Mary Michal, actually. Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers were named Mary, so I was never intended to be called by that name, it was merely a formality, if you will. So, it was my middle name that was left. I was named after King Saul’s daughter and my brothers’ names are Jonathan and David. My mom and dad just love the story of King David and our names reflect it. I suppose they didn’t wish to name my sister Merab for obvious reasons, so she is the only sibling without a name that reflects this amazing story. For years, I hated my legal name. You see, everyone calls me “Shelly” as if you pronounce Michal as you would Michelle, and it’s just who I am… I always left Michal far behind until someone dared ask my middle name, and there would be a long story attached.
As the years passed, I began to like my quirky, unique name and would sign my legal name without the shame I would feel as a youth. But there was always something that bothered me. Every time I would hear the name Michal in a Bible study or read about her example in a book, hear of her in a sermon, or just have a discussion about her in Sunday School, she was always used as a bad example. I would cringe just a bit, knowing who I am, and I became determined to see who it is this woman really was. These are my findings. The further I delve into this woman’s life, the more I realize that my parents had it right. I am Michal. No, our circumstances aren’t the same, I am not experiencing the same life she did, but her actions show a sentimental, head-strong woman with whom I can completely relate.
My next few posts will show a bit of what I have learned from my own study. I pray it will be helpful to someone else along the way.
Michal, the Princess
Michal was part of a royal family. I Samuel 14:49 tells us who King Saul’s three children were. It is the first mention of Michal in the Scriptures. I can only use my vivid imagination to think of what it would have been like to grow up as a proper princess. Since my daddy always treated me like a princess, would call me that at times, and spoiled me as much as his finances and time would allow, I fancied myself a princess often, as I believe most little girls would. But this was for real – real riches, real kingdoms, real fame. She was the daughter of a King.
If you are interested in further study, read I Samuel 14 – 18.
Between the first time we see Michal in chapter 14, and the second time we see her in chapter 18, much has happened. King Saul, her father, has disobeyed God and the kingdom is going to switch family lines. A young shepherd boy, David, is chosen and anointed to become the next king, and that same shepherd boy was the only one brave enough to slay the giant Goliath. There is a covenant made between Jonathan, the rightful heir to the throne, and his best friend, David.
For the man who slew Goliath, the hand of the King’s daughter in marriage was promised. Merab was the older sister, so her hand was to be given before Michal’s, but now Saul’s jealousy of David had taken over his logic, he intended to kill David, and gave Merab to another. Saul then finds out that Michal loves David. I Samuel 18:20 “And Michal Saul’s daughter loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.” I have often wondered why Saul was pleased. Maybe it was because he knew that he could still save face, so to speak. He had promised Merab, but since she was now given to another, he still had another daughter to give. Surely he was thinking that his daughter’s loyalty to Daddy would out-weigh any love she had for David. It must be a strange feeling for a dad who has raised a little girl as his princess to see her transfer some of that love and respect to the man she wishes to marry. I am thankful that I have never had to choose between my father and husband, but Michal did and her choice was clear.