Dance before the Lord?
2 Samuel 6:14
And David danced before the Lord with all his might.
I’ve always loved to dance. I was a teenager in the 80’s when there were no rules to dancing. My friends and I would form a circle on the dance floor and take turns showing our best moves in the middle of our boogie arena. With every new move that was shared we would cheer with delight.
Thirty years later, I still love to push aside the carpet in the living room and dance like a crazy man with my kids. About four years ago I was praying for my daughter who was the only one of my four kids who had not yet received Jesus as her Lord and Savior. I felt in my heart that God was leading me to ask my family and friends to pray for her to make a leap of faith. Later that week I came home, turned the music up, kicked back the living room rug and started dancing with all my might. As usual, my kids came in saw their dad doing his best Michael Jackson moves (Not quite as well as Michael), and they joined in. We had only boogied for a few songs when my daughter grabbed my hand, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Dad I need Jesus right now”. As everyone else continued to dance, we went to another room and she committed her life to the Lord. With tears of joy, we returned and I shouted with delight, “She just asked Jesus to be her Lord and Savior”. We all cheered and I danced before the Lord with all my might.
Lord, you have turned my morning into dancing;
As a pastor in Seattle, birth place of the double fin mermaid Starbucks, many of my meetings are over a Cup of Joe, Java, Go Juice. Lately, I’ve noticed the background of conversations turning very sour in tone. So many people have been so emotional because of the elections. I heard someone proclaim that their friends and family who voted differently, weren’t allowed this Christmas in their home because it was too upsetting. I’ve watched a woman leave in tears as her friends made rude personal comments about her because of who she voted for. It feels like bullying isn’t acceptable unless someone has different political beliefs than you do. It’s good to have strong, well thought out opinions, but my prayer for the Church, is that we would not be downcast or disrespectful with others because we are disappointed with the outcome of this election. Our hope, our joy, our delight is in the Lord and his leading. It’s good to honor and pray for our political leaders, but they are not the answer for our problems. No matter how hard we try to create Utopia apart from Christ we will be disappointed.
David knew what it was like to be disappointed with leadership. He was a teenager when he was chosen to be Israel’s next king. It wasn’t until his thirties that he received the crown. He spent most of those years on the run from King Saul. The very king he loved, protected and served. There were many times where God had to move or David would have been killed by his beloved king. Now at the time of 2 Samuel 6:14 “And David danced before the Lord with all his might”, he had recently been crown Israel’s king. One of the first things he did was bring the Ark (The Ark represented the presence of the Lord) back to the tabernacle, the central place of worship for God’s people. But as we often experience in life, things didn’t go as planned. David had been in such a hurry to do what was right, he didn’t do the right thing in the right way. Instead of having the Levites carry it on special poles as God had commanded, David had it put on a cart that was pulled by oxen. Part way home the oxen stumbled and the Ark started to fall off the cart. One of the men nearby, Uzzah, reach out to keep it from falling off the cart and was instantly killed. Why did God let this happen? David was mad at God and he let him know it.
David was a man after God’s own heart, so he prepare for three months to move the Ark the right way, and had the sons of Aaron and the Levites move it the right to where it belonged in Jerusalem. David realized that there are blessings of joy and peace when we honor God. Coming back to Jerusalem with the Ark, David was so excited he danced before the Lord with all his might.
2 Samuel 6:14-15
And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
Why was he dancing before the Lord with all his might? He was free! Honoring and obeying God brings freedom. Galatians 5:1 say, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” If the truth set’s us free, then lies will make us spiritually and relationally bound.
What would happen if believers responded to people inside and outside the Church who disagree with us politically, in love? What if we care about loving others more than being right? We just might see more of our friends, family, coworkers and neighbors go from mourning to dancing.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Let’s honor God this year by loving others as God loves us and dance before the Lord together.
Blessings, Matthew Shorack