Keeping Up Appearances

While David is offering sacrifices and humbling himself before God, Saul’s daughter cares about appearances

2 Samuel 6:17-23 

17 They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord. 18 After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord Almighty. 19 Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes.

20 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!’

21 David said to Michal, ‘It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel – I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 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 honour.’

23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.

Cross,Jesus,God,Holy Spirit,Daily Devotion, Appearance

Straight away, this Old Testament story brings to mind lots of similar stories in the gospels. Multiple times, Jesus visits the house of a pharisee or teacher of the law, or someone of similar standing. And usually he does something that ends up offending them. Maybe he’s not washing his feet, or not fasting, or not observing the Sabbath. Essentially, they accuse him of not having proper manners. Not keeping up appearances.

This reveals a lot about someone’s heart if they are more concerned with appearances than anything else. They care more about the surface-level niceties than actual substance, like Saul’s daughter Michal does here.

David speaks about being undignified and humiliated in his own eyes, but the slave girls will hold him in honour. By lowering himself, he gives those who are already low a better view of him. It’s an image of Jesus lowering himself to be among sinners. Like Jesus himself, says, ‘those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’  Praise God that Jesus lowered himself for us to the humiliation of the cross.  How blessed we are to have a king who was obedient even though it involved death so that we might have life in all its abundance.

Head: Think of an example in the New Testament of Jesus humbling himself, like David talks about here.

Heart: How often do you find yourself caring about appearances, instead of being more concerned about the heart and issues of salvation in Jesus Christ?

Hands: What’s something you can do to humble and lower yourself in order to bring glory to God and direct people to Christ?


Lord, work in my heart to make me more humble. Help me to lower myself as much as I can, so that you can be properly glorified.  I pray that my heart won’t be like Michal’s, or the Pharisees’, who judged based on appearances and manners. Teach me to be discerning with wisdom, instead of discerning just with my eyes. Amen.

A song to listen to: Blessed Assurance

Zoe Harland

Living Church Creek Road