Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.
I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.
-2 Samuel 6:14-15, 22a
Have you ever danced wildly before the Lord? What about a sway or raising your hands in church? If we were completely honest, the majority of us would be too afraid.
Dancing in church is acceptable for some and for some reason not others. In Africa, many dance with tambourines and hand flags. Pentecostal churches are known for dancing and being charismatic in their show of adoration of the Lord.
However, in the majority of churches I have seen, people do not dance, raise their hands, or sway. On the odd occasion a ballet style dance or a few flags flown are a part of a special “piece” in the service. The general rule is that dancing or hand raising is not allowed in churches. We have to solemn, respectful and staid in church.
In 2 Samuel, chapter 6 David is seen dancing wildly before the Lord. David had just won victory over the Philistines, where the ark of the covenant was being held, and he received the ark back to be taken to its rightful place. However, when the Israelites took the ark, they placed it on a cart instead of using poles to carry it according to God’s law. A man named Uzzah tried to steady the ark with his hand when the oxen stumbled. No one was allowed to touch the ark, therefore, Uzzah was struck dead.
David was at first angry with God for striking Uzzah dead. However, the anger turned into fear. David was afraid to take the ark any further. He instead took it to Obed-edom’s house, where it stayed for three months. Whilst there, Obed-edom and his family were blessed.
David heard about the blessings and decided it was time to take the ark back to the city of Jerusalem where it belonged. When David and his people went to retrieve the ark, he rejoiced before the Lord and made a sacrifice before Him.
David was dressed in a linen ephod which was white and thin. In fact, it was so thin he was practically naked. David was dancing wildly in the street half naked with the people of Jerusalem.
As he came through the street, his wife, Michal was watching the parade. She became angry and despised David for dancing before the Lord and being almost naked.
David and the people brought the ark to a tent he had erected. He offered sacrifices and offerings before the Lord. Afterwards he blessed the people who were there. They ate some food and went back to their homes.
David went to bless his own household, but Michal, came out to meet him. She was livid. She thought he was honouring himself. She fussed at him about being half naked with the women servants around seeing him.
David quickly responded and told her he was dancing before the Lord who appointed him over Israel. He said to her he will celebrate before the Lord at any time and will be even more undignified than this!
The difference between David and the majority of us, is he was not afraid of what other people thought of him, including his wife. He rejoiced and celebrated before the Lord with dancing.
I am not in any way saying we should go dancing half naked in the streets or in our churches! What a mighty stir that would cause.
Firstly, we should not be afraid of what other’s think of us, especially when we are worshipping and praising the Lord. When we worship, we should have our eyes focused on God and not on those around us.
Secondly, may we not be like Michal judging others who raise their hands or bop up and down whilst praising the Lord. Those people are not doing it for show (although I do understand some may and have done so).
If we are worried about what others think, our focus is not on God, but them. Likewise, if we are judging others for what they are doing, our focus is not on God either.
God loves our praise. He blesses those whose focus and praise is on him.
We all have different ways of praising the Lord. My prayer is we all will be undignified when it comes to showing God our passion, affection, and adoration. I pray we will not be afraid of what others think.
I promise you that in heaven it won’t matter how we praise him. There will be dancing in the streets and shouts of joy all the time. Our affections will be upon Jesus and not on those around us.
The next time we desire to dance before God, imagine yourself in heaven with Jesus standing there. It’s just us and him.
Praise the Lord for he is worthy of our praise!