When King Saul died, Paltiel’s fortunes changed dramatically. One minute he was husband to the king’s daughter, maybe destined for a place in the royal court himself. The next minute he was alone… having lost his bride, who was not rightfully his in the first place.
Paltiel belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, the same tribe as King Saul, Israel’s first king. Saul had promised his daughter, Michal, to David in return for killing 100 Philistines – and bringing back proof of his achievement. Saul thought he was sending David on a suicide mission; but, much to Saul’s astonishment, David succeeded – killing twice the required number of Philistines! Saul kept his promise, allowing David to wed Michal who was, conveniently enough, in love with David.
But, King Saul continued his efforts to kill David, fearing him as a threat to the throne. At one point, Michal had to conspire against her own father in order to save David’s life. Realizing he was no longer safe in Saul’s presence, David fled, leaving Michal behind.
In David’s absence, King Saul took it upon himself to annul David’s marriage, disowning him, and giving Michal to Paltiel instead. Maybe Saul considered Paltiel a safer choice of a son-in-law. Since he belonged to the same tribe as Saul, Paltiel may have been seen as probably being more loyal to the king.
Eventually, King Saul died in battle with the Philistines, and David prepared to take the throne that was his by divine appointment. When Abner, Saul’s military commander, defected to David’s side, the soon-to-be-king made one demand; David wanted his wife back. Michal was escorted from Paltiel’s house to David’s, Paltiel following behind in a rather pathetic display – for about 45miles – until Abner ordered him to turn back.
You’ve been in Paltiel’s sandals before; probably not his exact situation, but a situation in which you are riding high one day and hitting the bottom the next. It can be devastating… and the depth of the low often correlates to the height of the high.
So, what do you do? Do you chase after what was in a pathetic hope of reclaiming it? Do you look around trying to figure out what happened? Or do you look up… seeking God’s will and God’s purpose in God’s plan.
Regardless of whether you are riding high or sinking low, it is always best to seek God there.
You can read Paltiel’s story in 1Samuel 25 & 2Samuel 3.