Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Michal, the Mother
I love my children. I love their kisses and sweet notes, their laughs and giggles, their silliness and even their mistakes. I love the fact that I am called "mom" by three amazing human beings. I love holding them close at times and at others watching them test their "wings". I love being a mother.
Though Michal was barren, we see her privileged to have the role of mother. This is the last time Michal is mentioned, 2 Samuel 21:8. I cry every time I read this passage. Let me give you the story, in short. At this point, there is a famine in the land and the Lord tells King David that it's because of Saul. Apparently, Israel dwelt peaceably amongst the Amorites but for some reason, Saul decided to break that peace. The Gibeonites mentioned in 2 Samuel 21 are the ancestors of the said Amorites. David goes to them and tells them that he realizes God is punishing the land because of the broken promise, and he seeks a way to appease this wrong-doing. What they demand is astonishing. 7 sons of Saul. They want revenge. 2 Samuel 21:7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD's oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:
Michal was mother to her sister's children. I don't know what happened to Merab and her husband, Adriel, but Michal became the mother of her 5 sons. Those sons became the sacrifice David gave to the Gibeonites for the wrong of their grandfather. Disturbing, puzzling, unfair, and gory as it may seem, it's how things were done. And Michal in one day had nothing. 2 Samuel 21:9 And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest. This always depresses me a little. How did Michal die? What did she ever do again? The only time she is mentioned again is in 1 Chronicles where they reference her reaction to David dancing in the street when she hated him for it. Is that all she was good for? A lesson in what not to do?
I imagine she was a strong, amazing woman with a big heart. A heart that would open her loving arms to the children of her sister and raise them. A woman who loved, was wronged, and chose to be stubbornly bitter and not forgive, but direct her love elsewhere... and that was taken away too. I can not say that I know what pain it would be to lose a child, or be betrayed by a husband, but I have felt wronged. I have been falsely accused and lied about. Every time, I have built a wall of defense and unfortunately even become bitter. But for all the good Michal must have done (remember she saved David's life, took in her orphaned nephews, and who knows how much more!) she held on to what she believed was her right, and lost it all. I hold on with gripping force so many times. It's hard not to. I wish there was a formula for an alternate ending mentioned in the Scriptures because that's what I'd mention now! But since there's not, I'll just say that this concludes the study I've done on Michal, a woman I feel I understand completely. I pray that I, Michal, will find that path leading to liberation from the nasty wrongs I face, and that you, Reader, would find your path of freedom as well.