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.

2 Samuel 6:16 (NIV)

There are many reasons why Michal might have “despised” David “in her heart” on that day she saw him dancing amongst the people before the Lord. As Saul’s daughter, she was a princess and subsequently raised as royalty. As a royal personage, Michal probably saw herself as “better” than the ordinary people and certainly would have a notion of how royalty was to behave in public. Thus, David’s actions didn’t befit his role as king and embarrassed his position.

Verse 20 gives us another possible reason.

When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”

2 Samuel 6:20 (NIV)

Michal might have been jealous. After all, David had many wives. While his son Solomon completely outdoes his father, David was no slouch when it came to adding wives or concubines to his ranks. We’re not even sure how many wives David had since we have this verse from 1 Chronicles.

In Jerusalem David took more wives and became the father of more sons and daughters.

1 Chronicles 14:3 (NIV)

Although some want to cap the number of David’s wives at eight, it could have been more.

As I consider why Michal behaved as she did, this verse comes to mind from 1 Corinthians.

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)

Even if Michal had a problem with David dancing around for other reasons, she surely should have understood the occasion. The ark of the Lord was being brought “home.” During Saul’s time, the ark was left behind to gather dust. Thus, returning the ark to the fold represented a time of bringing the Lord back into Israel.

However, if Michal saw the ark as nothing more than a religious artifact, any celebration would appear foolish.

1 Corinthians 2:14 comes after the Holy Spirit has been sent to dwell in those saved. Therefore, Michal couldn’t have had the Spirit indwelling within. However, I cannot help but think about Abigail and what David said to her after she dissuaded him from taking vengeance on Nabal.

Blessed is your discernment, and blessed are you, because today you kept me from bloodshed and from avenging myself by my own hand.

1 Samuel 25:33 (BSB)

Furthermore, when I think about how Michal responded to David’s outpouring of praise and worship toward the Lord, I’m reminded of how unbelievers respond when they see Christians worship. Some respond as Michal, thinking we’re making fools of ourselves, while others discount us as “being religious” since we’re showing love and devotion to a being that, in their minds, doesn’t exist.

Of course, there’s an irony found in those unbelievers who might question our praise and worship to the Lord when those same people scream and shout at sporting events, waving flags and banners for figures who have no regard for them.

Still, whatever the reason or reasons for Michal’s behavior, we should be like David when we worship the Lord. Regardless of whose around, we should have David’s attitude.

I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

2 Samuel 6:22 (NIV)