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
What does it mean to be a man of faith? In Jeremiah 17:7-8, we are reminded that “one who trusts in the LORD…is like a tree planted by the water…It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.” A man of faith thrives and is fruitful because he is connected directly to the Source of Life. Through the timeless teachings or Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, we look at the defining characteristics from the lives of six biblical, godly men.
Today’s verse comes from the story describing the joy and celebration when King David finally brought the Holy Ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:12-22). It is in stark contrast to an earlier story in Leviticus chapter 10, when the two sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, also desired to serve the Lord, but with a much different attitude and outcome.
In Leviticus 10, Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, brought an unauthorized offering before God. While they might have had good intentions – wanting to serve the Lord – the Jewish sages explain that their service was rooted in arrogance. God had not ordered the offering, and the leaders, Aaron and Moses, had not authorized it. Yet, Nadab and Abihu felt that they didn’t need any permission. In this spirit of haughtiness, they came too close to God, and as a result, they perished.
Many years later David, king of Israel, was serving the Lord with great joy. As the Ark made its way to Jerusalem, the procession was repeatedly stopped so that sacrifices could be offered to God. As the procession continued, David led the people with dancing and singing.
His wife, Saul’s daughter Michal, thought David’s exuberant display was very unbecoming for a king. Her father had never behaved in such an undignified manner. When the ceremony was over, Michal scolded her husband 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). How undignified, she said, where is your honor?
Listen to David’s reply: “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” (6:22). David did not apologize for his behavior, but rather vowed to become even more undignified if necessary. Because, when it comes to serving the Lord, no one is king but the true King. We are all humble servants before Him. As King David explained, ultimately humility before the Lord translated into honor before others. However, before God there is no service too low or task too menial for a servant of God.
Consider how we can serve God with humility today. How can we put aside our ego for God’s glory? Serving God with humility leads to the greatest honor. As David wrote: “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity” (Psalm 37:11).