In the Old Testament, there is a story about King David bringing the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem. Actually, it is the second movement in the journey of taking the Ark to Jerusalem. The first attempt was interrupted by the death of a man named Uzzah as he reached up and touched the Ark with his bare hands (2 Samuel 6:1-8).
The second leg of the journey comes a short time later as David moves the Ark from the house of Obed-Edom to Jerusalem. As the story unfolds, there is an excellent description of David,
2 Samuel 6:14-16 David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, (15) while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.
(16) As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.
I love the picture of David dancing and leaping all by himself. The Ark leads the way, and the people of Israel are in the rear walking while some are playing instruments. There in the middle is King David dancing alone with all his might.
As I read the story, I have several thoughts that come to my mind.
First, “Do I worship with all my might?” I am not a dancer, but each week I attempt to sing. Do I put all my energy into my worship of the Lord? What am I withholding from God?
Second, “Am I willing to dance on my own?” I mean this metaphorically. Am I ready to put myself out there? Am I willing to do something radical for God? Am I willing to do my own thing for the greater glory of God?
Third, “Am I willing to be rejected for my actions?” The most interesting line in the story may be the statement about Michal. “She despised him in her heart.” Whenever you do either of the things above, there will be someone to criticize you. “What are you so excited about?” “You are just seeking your own glory.” “You are an embarrassment.” Criticism abounds for those who dance by people who set on the sidelines.
David, this great leader, and a deeply religious man dances before the Lord with all his might. Out there on the road, he dances all by himself in front of the people. I often wonder why no one joined in the dance. Maybe because they joined in with the singing. Maybe they were just afraid. Maybe they didn’t have the faith to step out on their own?
Perhaps the bigger question is “why don’t we dance?” Why don’t we step up and do something radical for the Lord? When are we going to give all of our energy to God in some form? Why not today?