He can stand next to the phone and not hear it ring. He can wash his face, reach for the towel, and walk out of the bathroom, not realizing the water is still running full blast. He has a tendency to be loud and sometimes monotone because he can no longer hear himself or his tone of voice. If he were home alone and a fire broke out while he was asleep, he would not hear the smoke alarm even though it hangs right outside our bedroom door.
He used to play the violin more than passably well, but violin requires an ear. He used to lead singing, but now he changes key in the middle of a phrase without realizing it. He can no longer hear prayers, sermons, announcements, or comments in Bible classes without reading lips. Hearing is a constant crossword puzzle where his mind fills in the blanks left by his hearing and lip reading –often creating humorous misunderstandings, but that is another story. All this means that in order to hear he must work hard. You think a conversation with friends is relaxing. For him it is exhausting. If he is not feeling well or is already tired, he cannot hear at all, period, because he is not up to the wearying chore of “listening” to all the other things he must besides words.
All of this breaks my heart because I can foresee a time when this man, who loves Jehovah God and his word more than life itself, will no longer be able to actively participate in the group worship of his brethren. Michal, the wife of David, would be thrilled to be in my shoes—for there to actually be a time coming when her husband could no longer worship with passion.
She was Saul’s daughter, a princess royal and now a king’s wife, enamored with the dignity of her position. How do I know? Look at 2 Sam 6. She was married to a man who loved God with all his heart, a man who wrote poetry to God by the yard and sang to Him every day. Mothers, here is the role model for your little boys. David was a man’s man in every sense of the word—a warrior king who killed wild animals practically bare-handed, and engaged in heart-pounding, daring battles with the enemies of God--but a man who did not believe that religion made him a sissy.
After David captured Jerusalem, he brought the ark of Jehovah in, and was so thrilled that his passionate worship had him dancing in the street. Michal saw him from her window, and later scolded him, “How you distinguished yourself in front of the maidens of Israel today, like any other common man in the streets!”
David answered, It was the Lord who chose me…I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this—I will humiliate myself in my own eyes, but by these same slave girls I will be held in honor.
David understood two things. First, that it was not his dignity Michal was worried about, it was hers. And second, God demands that pride be left behind when we worship him. God wants worship with passion. Despite what you may have heard about the Old Law, He always has. If I let my pride hold me back, I may as well not bother. I have always found it interesting that the passage telling us to do things “decently and in order” (1 Cor 14:40) is in the same context as the one that makes it plain that amens from the assembly were the rule not the exception (v 16).
Do you elbow your husband when he says, “Amen?” Do you shush him when he sings loudly because you think he is off-key? Is that any different than Michal? If you have found a man who understands that faith has nothing to do with weakness and everything to do with strength, who loves the Lord enough to humble himself and worship unashamedly, praise God for your good fortune and encourage him in his worship. You never know when he might no longer be able to do so.
As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is your God? These things I remember and pour out my soul within me, how I went with the throng and led them to the house of God with the voice of joy and praise, a multitude keeping holyday. Psalm 42:1-4