“Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. So Saul said, “I will give her to him, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time, ’You shall be my son-in-law today.’” 1 Samuel 18:20–21
Jonathan loves David like a brother, but he isn’t the only one of Saul’s children that loves him. Michal, Saul’s youngest daughter has fallen for the faithful, strong, good looking, talented, musician/warrior.
When Saul found out about Michal’s feeling for David he got a wicked/good idea. He’d give her to David as a wife and for a dowry he ask for the foreskins of one hundred Philistines that David and his men would kill in battle.
This wasn’t as big a complement as it might sound on the surface. You see Saul had promised that the warrior who would kill Goliath would receive his eldest daughter Merab as a wife. Years had passed and Saul had withheld Merab from David; eventually compounding that insult by giving her to someone else.
On top of that, giving his youngest daughter wasn’t an attempt to make up for that slight. Really David shouldn’t have had to win any dowry; he’d already faced Goliath and earned Saul’s daughter’s hand, but Saul hoped that she would be acceptable bait for David to attempt to earn the dowry Saul had set for her..
You see killing one hundred Philistines wasn’t a quick or easy task. Usually Philistine raiding parties were relatively small, just several men. This meant that David would have to meet the Philistines many times over a period of weeks or months. This also meant that the Philistines would likely take notice of what David was doing and then take steps to better protect themselves from him. Saul hoped that David would die at the hands of the Philistines. He might die a hero but he’d still be dead.
David accepted Saul’s offer, and together he and his men went out to collect the bounty required for the dowry. God was with David as well and gave him success. In the remaining weeks of the war season David was able to collect the foreskins of not one but two hundred Philistines.
God was preparing David and opening all the doors for him to be completely accepted as king when the time would come for him to take the throne. His exploits in battle as a champion and as a commander were part of that preparation. His marriage to Michal would smooth the way with some important families. Still others would be impressed by his faithfulness and humility as he suffered Saul’s insults and broken promises.
The life path God leads each of us down will similarly prepare us for and take us to his calling for us. Often we fret and struggle under the injustices we experience not realizing that these may, in fact, be a necessary part of our training and preparation. David appears to have willingly accepted the lot God’s leading gave to him. Will we have the same humility, grace and contentment as he had?
O God, give me the patient acceptance that you gave to David. Make me willing to suffer insult and injury that you may be able to fulfill you plan for me.