Have you ever noticed how tolerance often doesn’t reach all the way to believers who are passionate about worship? Like Michal, some find the demonstrative, ardent worship of God intolerable.
If you keep quiet and keep your faith to yourself, they’ll ignore you; but if you start making a lot of noise, creating a scene, or proclaiming God’s power, they’re liable to get hostile.
What makes someone get angry or even violent when they see another person filled with joy and praising God? Even if they don’t believe, or they think the person is foolish, or even if they are sure the believer has lost their mind—why is the response so vitriolic? Why is it that the same folks who want to preach tolerance in every other aspect of life find it so hard to tolerate the joyful celebration of believers?
It makes me wonder if it reveals the real source of their anger. Is it because the enemy of God is enraged by our worship and has blinded them? Is it because he doesn’t want them to consider for a moment why believers would be filled with joy, let alone why they themselves lack that joy?
The last verse in this chapter tells us about Michal’s response to David’s display of joy and celebration as he is finally able to bring the ark of the covenant in to Jerusalem: “As the ark of the covenant of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart.”
Likewise, as millions of Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus yesterday, there were people overcome with animosity and hatred. Rome was on high alert after police thwarted an attack planned for Easter Sunday. In Egypt last year on Palm Sunday, dozens were killed as they prepared to celebrate. The year before it was in Pakistan.
Regardless of the world’s intolerance, we who have witnessed God’s amazing grace cannot help but celebrate and proclaim the goodness of God.