It Don't Take All That

II Samuel 6:16-23

Inquiring minds want to know:

Inquiring minds want to know:

Inquiring minds want to know:

Inquiring minds want to know:

Inquiring minds want to know:

These queries are ever present and well phrased but tip around the real issue.

The real issue is so many have become so quick to evaluate another’s praise. So many have put on their robes of examination and evaluation and have become the Judge Wapners of the church, evaluating and passing judgment on other folks praise. And the verdict is always "It don't take all that!"

Well, just how much does it take? A better question, is it all right for you to define how much praise I give? Our text in II Samuel 6:16-23 will help us understand.

What is this all about? Verses 1-15 talk about reverence toward sacred things. Verses 16-23 talk about reverence toward said thing. David had been confirmed as king of Israel. One of his first executive decisions was returning the Ark of the Covenant to its rightful place. For 100 years the ark had been separated from its primary place of residence. Now that David had taken Jerusalem and made it the political capital, all that remained was to retrieve the ark and place it in the tabernacle in Jerusalem. The Ark of the Covenant represented the visible presence of God; the visible symbol of the invisible God. The ark was significant to the spiritual life of the nation and as such it was to be handled with reverence, even in transporting it from place to place.

David first went with 30,000 men to Baalah of Judah to pickup the ark from the house of Abinadab. This attempt was ill-fated because David didn’t obey the law. The law specified in Numbers 4:15 the ark was to be carried by the Levites who were to bear it on their shoulders by means of poles that passed through gold rings attached to the ark. Even then, the Levites could not touch the ark, or look in it because of its holiness.

Why David overlooked these reverential requirements is impossible to know. But we do know that in verse 3, the ark was placed on a newly constructed cart instead of upon the shoulders of divinely appointed men. We do know that Abinadab’s two sons, Ahio and Uzzah accompanied the cart. Ahio was in front and Uzzah, in the rear, followed immediately by King David and his host of 30,000. We do know that along the way in verse 6, they passed over a rough outcropping of stone, a threshing floor belonging to Nashon. As they passed, the oxen stumbled and the cart shook, making the ark unstable. Instinctively, Uzzah grabbed the ark to prevent it from falling to the ground. We do know that God considered this an act of irreverence, (verse 7) and killed Uzzah immediately. God's wrath on Uzzah taught David a hard-learned lesson. Being at fault for a case of "right mission and wrong manner," David then decided to take a detour and leave the ark at Obed-Edom's house till further notice.

Three months later when David was willing to do it God's way and according to divine requirement, the ark was transported to Jerusalem with the sounding of rams' horns, trumpets, cymbals, lyres, and harps (verse 14). This time, dressed in priestly attire (a linen ephod), David danced and shouted with all his might before the Lord. (verse 15) At length, the procession made its way into Jerusalem. More and more people joined in with him, playing their instruments, shouting and thanking God. The ark was being safely transported to its newly established and dedicated place of residence.

The sight of returning "the ark" with the implications of its history, its formidable presence, the regal entourage, the service of worship, and the sacrifice that accompanied its return were more than the delighted heart of David could contain. In verse 16, we read: "And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal, Saul's daughter looked through a window and saw king David leaping and dancing..." The Hebrew word for dance is one that means to stamp, jump, leap, spring about wildly, or skip. David enjoyed a spontaneous exercise of unrehearsed and unhindered praise. In the midst of all this rejoicing, revulsion was created.

Michal’s Revulsion (verses 16, 20)

According to verse 16c "... and she despised him in her heart." As the ark was entering Jerusalem, Michal, was watching from a window. When she saw her husband leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him (choked with contempt) in her heart. Could she have been thinking this is rather undignified behavior for a King? Why such pronounced accolades, public worship is not that important. It is not fitting for a king to demonstrate such emotion. You mean he brought me here for this ethnic entertainment? This is pure mockery. It don't take all that!

While David was tending to blessings and offerings of sacrifice, in verses 17-19, Michal’s contempt escalated. Her rage begins to boil. Thus, by the time David gets to his palace, she meets him at the door. Chagrined and embarrassed, Michal said in verse 20, "... . How glorious was the king of Israel today, who uncovered himself in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one would vainly, shamelessly uncover himself!

“What? What did you say, Dear?”

“I said my, how you distinguished yourself today, disrobing in the sight of slave girls, just like any ol' nasty old man would!”

“What?”

“I said what a fool the king made of himself today, stripping off his clothes in the streets, like some common pervert!”

“Woman, have you lost it?”

“I said was it not a sight today to see the king, indecently exposing himself before hired hands and, exhibiting like a buffoon?”

Sarcasm? Did she “diss” him or what? More importantly, I see two things in this exchange. First of all, Michal felt that her sense of dignity had been violated. David had not acted in a manner in which she thought a king should act. When she saw him free and loose, exercising praise, her image of kingly behavior, as she had learned to view it, was out of order. It did not compute. Her dad never acted like that. She could not cope with the change in what she had seen as daughter and what she now experiences as wife. Rule in the palace had changed, but the deportment need not change. Thus anger and bitterness resulted and fueled Michal’s contemptuous accusation.

Another point I see in this text is that Michal felt that David allowed his honor to be compromised. The implied mention of the slave girls—in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants (verse 20). Michal wondered how could David do such. How could he demonstrate such excitement and pleasure with no thought of who was around? She did not grasp the meaning of "the ark," or the significance of its presence. In fact she was more sensitive to what the slave girls saw, than she was to why the king was dancing.

Wait a minute. Michal is not the only one who views praise as undignified, sheer emotions, and just ethic entertainment. Oh, you've heard them. You may have even said it:

“It don't take all that!” If they would cut all that out, we could get out of church on time! You got praise and worship, then you got greet somebody, then you got praise reports, then you got, prayer time, then you got the sermon, and then you got the invitation. It just don't take all that! This standing up, and this waving your hands and this shouting, and this just cutting the fool and embarrassing me, and making my guest uncomfortable. It just don't take all that! Just a few weeks ago we had three nights of “The Church in Praise." Praise this and praise that, and praise here, and praise there. It don't take all that!

“I think they just getting carried away. They done took it too far! This is suppose to be the church with a “relevant vision,” but they done gone to doing things just like they did back at my other church. I declare; it don't take all that!”

“I can barely see what's going on from back here where I sit. Soon as I get interested, somebody in front of me, jumps up and blocks my view. I wish they’d just sit down and enjoy the service. It don't take all that!”

And that's the way some view it, but remember those who have not seen God move in their lives have no point of reference on His delivering power and presence. Those who have not seen God in their hearts are bound to have differing evaluations from those who have. People tend to be down on what they're not up on. Praise is not without its detractors, even in here. The devil despises it. Human logic finds it enigmatic. The intellectual finds it senseless. The carnal says it's threatening; the skeptic, it's mental imbalance; the Gnostic, it's a crutch. But I encourage Michal and all of her kinfolk to look further in the text.

His Response (verses 17-19, 21-22)

In verses 17-19, David entered Jerusalem, placed the ark, offered burnt offerings, then blessed the people. He gave each a loaf of bread, a piece of meat and a flagon of wine. As the people departed, every one to his house, David returned home as well to bless his house. Upon entering the house and hearing the scorn and contempt coming from Michal, he retorted in verse 21, “It was before the LORD ...!” It was Jehovah, the same man who appointed me over your father. The same one who preferred me over your household. He put me in charge. He appointed me prince over all y’all. And now He has lifted me above anyone from your father’s house. I am now ruler over His people in Israel. Therefore, I will celebrate, dance, and shout before the Lord. Paraphrasing, David continues in verse 22, and I will dance. I intend to dance and I will act like a fool. Vile? “... I will yet be more vile than thus... . Undignified? I will be even more undignified! You ain't seen nothing yet! I will do even worse than you thought you saw. You thought I dishonored myself before the slave girls? Wait till you see me next time. I will be more dishonored!”

You see, Michal had impugned David’s holy zeal to be nothing but exhibitionism. This hurt him deeply. He said, “You must have forgotten. If it had not been for the Lord who was on my side. It was the Lord who loved me, who raised me, who protected me from your daddy seven times, your daddy's men, your daddy's buddies! It was the Lord who protected me from Goliath, and the Philistines. I was lost; He found me. I was a sinner; He saved me. I was not wanted; He picked me out and anointed me. He placed a song in my heart, melody in my fingers, praises on my lips, clapping in my hands, dancing in legs, running in my feet.

Talking about showing off in front of slave girls? It matters not who's watching. I could care less who's watching. My praise is impervious to its surroundings. I do not care who is watching. You are talking about I act like a fool. You ain't seen nothing yet! You don't know like I know. You ain't been through, what I’ve been through. You ain't been delivered like I was delivered. You think I acted like a fool then? Hold my brief case. I'll shout right here!”

Somebody at Bible-Based Fellowship feels just like David this morning. When I think of the goodness of Jesus and all He has done for me; when I think of how he raised me, sent me to school, brought me through school, got me that job; how he’s been with me through test, after test; put sense in my head, love in my heart. When I think of the house He gave me, the mortgage He got me, the assets He's given me, and you say, it don't take all that! Hold my Dooney!"

Her Reward (verse 23)

“Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.” Michal had a childless life, a fruitless life, and a barren life. Yes, childless till death was a punishment appropriate to her transgression. But it speaks to something even deeper: her womb, her world, and her wealth became barren. She lived a long and lonely life in want of the life she had grown accustomed to: a husband's companionship, a child’s love, a family to belong to. On the other hand, David was given many sons and daughters, but he left Michal. He didn't even divorce her; just left her. Michal never achieved the status of being a mother. She was cursed with the burden of caring for her dead sister, Merab’s five children, all of who were ultimately beheaded.

What's the point of all of this?

(1) Don't play the game of protesting another’s praise. If you gonna say, “It don't take all that,” Say it don't take all that for me.

(2) Be certain of person's motives for their actions before you condemn them. Condemning and protesting praise is dangerous business. Many have suffered severe consequences. Just check the record: Miriam mocked Moses. She was stricken with leprosy. Korah led a rebellion against the lawgiver. She was swallowed by the earth. Shimei cursed and threw stones at David. He was executed. Hananiah contradicted Jeremiah's prophecies. She died two months later. Bar-jesus lied about Paul. He was stricken with blindness.

(3) Don't get hooked up with anyone who don't believe in your God, or who does not have your faith. You see, had Michal shared David's faith, how different life would have been for both of them. If she really loved David, she would have sought his forgiveness after he had explained his demeanor. David read her right. She was so eaten up with pride that he knew they could never love the same God. She despised Him in her heart; so, He cut her from His heart. Beyond feeling sorry for her, we need to see Michal as a person mirroring our own tendencies. We too become judgmental when we misinterpret another person’s praise.

(4) Clash or difference of faith, outlook and purpose are sure attributes of a relationship headed for chaos and a life lived in misery. Michal, although a princess, did not have commendable character qualities. Desire for prestige, fervor of infatuation, and indifference to holiness were her traits. These are not good for the making of a Christian home.

Emmit Smith was the Super Bowl XXVII Most Valuable Player (MVP). In the third quarter, he scored a touch down and afterwards, celebrated (danced, rejoiced) in the end zone. Many thought this was out of character for him. During the post game interview, one of the sport casters remarked, “On that third quarter touch down, it was kind of out of character for you to celebrate (dance, rejoice) in the end zone like you did. Usually it don't take all that for you. What happened? What came over you?” Emmit responded, “You guys in the booth tickle me, talking about it don't take all that! You weren't hit like they hit me. You weren’t taunted like they taunted me. You weren't mauled like they mauled me. You weren't within the grasp of the enemy. You didn't hear the foot steps of those monsters coming after me. When I danced, it meant I got you that time. You thought you had me, but look at me now! It demonstrates power over the enemy. That's why I shouted. That's why I celebrated. It didn't have anything to do with you. It didn't have anything to do with the crowd. The harder the fight, the sweeter the victory! I was telling the enemy, we got you that time! To you guys in the booth, it's incomprehensible; but to us, it's indefensible.”

To the burdened, it's the way out; the hurting, it's the way up; the hopeless, it's the way in; the painful, it's the way through. But to the winner, it's the only way to say thank you! So yes, it does take all that—for me!