Last week we talked about the false church as embodied in Merab. This week, we talk about the true church as embodied in Michal.
Now Saul's daughter Michal loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. Saul thought, “Let me give her to him, that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time, “You shall now be my son-in-law.” (1 Samuel 18:20-21)
The fact that both Michal and David told Saul together shows that the love is mutual. Think of the mutual love between Christ and the true church. How is Saul going to make Michal a snare for David? Thanks to the love that David has for Michal, Saul can set an exorbitant bride price, which involves killing a hundred Philistines, and David should die in the process. First, Saul has to get past the humility that David posed last time, when Merab was offered to him.
And Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David in private and say, ‘Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now then become the king's son-in-law.’” And Saul's servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, “Does it seem to you a little thing to become the king's son-in-law, since I am a poor man and have no reputation?” And the servants of Saul told him, “Thus and so did David speak.” (1 Samuel 18"22-24)
Now, Saul strikes with his insane hurdle for David to jump in order to be his son-in-law.
Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king's enemies.’” Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. (1 Samuel 18:25)
Obviously in order to get that flesh to Saul, Philistines have to die, and this will be a dangerous ordeal for David. But this pleases David, and he is up for the task.
And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king's son-in-law. Before the time had expired, David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king's son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife. (1 Samuel 18:26-27)
This is not the outcome Saul expected, and now the king is in a worse position than before.
But when Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, Saul's daughter, loved him, Saul was even more afraid of David. So Saul was David's enemy continually. Then the commanders of the Philistines came out to battle, and as often as they came out David had more success than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was highly esteemed. (1 Samuel 18:28-30)
Here's what we can learn about Christ through this passage:
1. The true church loves Christ.
2. Christ loves the church.
3. Christ came to his own, and his own rejected him.
4. His own turned him over to the Gentiles to have him killed.
5. The church consists primarily of Gentiles now.
6. Christ has made a new covenant outside of original Israel. The new covenant is with the church, which is still "Israel" but now consisting of both Jews and Gentiles.
7. Christ does more then we even think or ask.
8. Christ is an enemy to the prideful who have made their own religion that centers on themselves.
How do we get all of this from the historical narrative? If we take the foreskins to symbolize the covenant, circumcision, the precursor to baptism, everything becomes more clear. The Jews turned Jesus over to the Philistines, the Gentiles, for execution. The end result is Christ's victory on the cross, the tearing of the veil of the temple, so that the whole world is allowed to participate in a true relationship with God, an abundance of new converts that are part of the true church, Israel, children of the most high God for eternity. The foreskins represent souls won for Christ, those who hadn't been included in the covenant but now were, those who have "died" to their old selves and are now a new creation, born again.
If we change the gathering of foreskins to baptism, the passage takes on a different hue: The king desires no bride-price except a hundred baptisms of the Philistines. Before the time had expired, David arose and went, along with his men, and "converted" two hundred of the Philistines. And David "tallied" their "baptisms", which were given in full number to the king.
This historic event becomes an example of the blessing of Abraham coming to the Gentiles, so that they receive the promised Spirit through faith and become part of the church, which in this historical context is represented by Michal. Saul's bride price is not meant to spiritually lead us closer to Christ. He is just setting up an insurmountable problem for David, because he wants him dead. Saul is still acting the part of the devil in this case. He is not attempting to have David "cut" a covenant with the Philistines by having him circumcise them. He's not adding to the Abrahamic covenant, but what we know from the New Testament, this historic passage does prophesy what does in fact occur. The Gentiles ARE brought into Israel, the church, Michal. Her bride price is the symbolic bringing of the Gentiles into the church, hope for the whole world.
As it reads in John 1:11-13, He came to his own, but his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. As Paul writes in Galatians 3:27-29, For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise.
Here's how God can turn something involving death and mutilation into something hopeful for the whole world of believers.