The following article is an opinion piece by the author and represents the views of only the author and not necessarily those of AllOnGeorgia.
I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humble in my own sight… -2 Samuel 6:22
Sometimes as a Christian it’s appropriate to be quiet and solemn. Reverent and reserved. Silent and still. There is also a time to dance like no one is watching, especially when giving thanks to Almighty God for his wonderful providence. Much like in our own lives, we see King David go through ups and downs in 2 Samuel 6, but why? When is it appropriate to mourn, and when is it appropriate celebrate to the point of humiliating ourselves?
If we dig deeper into this chapter, we see that Israel had recovered the ark of God. There was much celebration. They played music on harps, tambourines, cymbals, and all sorts of other instruments. The celebration ended when a soldier lost his life because the Israelites were carrying the ark in a manner other than the one prescribed by God. At one point during the trip, neither the ark, nor the Israelites moved for three months while David mourned. During this time they stayed in the house of Obed-Edom. God blessed the Obed-Edom and his family so, that David decided it was time to move the ark back into the City of David. This time, they carried the ark the right way, and made extra sacrifices to the Lord.
Now you might me asking yourself, “what in the world does this have to do with my life in 2017?” Well, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I tend to celebrate before all the work is done. It’s one thing to believe in God’s ability to provide, but it’s another to assume that everything is going to work out according to your plan because things are going your way in the moment. It’s easy for us to stop relying so much on God when things are going well. We put our spiritual life on cruise control when it looks like we’re in the home stretch. David thought he was doing well enough just bringing the ark home. That mindset cost him and his people. To put it in football terms, it was like spiking the ball before crossing the goal line. That doesn’t end well, and we don’t always get another shot. David was blessed with a second chance. God allowed them to continue in their journey home with the ark.
Here’s where the undignified, celebration type stuff begins. As they brought the ark into the city, and placed it in the temple they had built for it, the Bible says “David danced with all his might.” And that he “leapt and whirled before the Lord.” It also says he was wearing a linen ephod, which is to say: Not much at all.
When his wife Michal saw this, she chided him saying, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” She was worried about what others thought of the king, dancing and acting like a commoner. What she didn’t consider is that David was so overcome with joy; so grateful that God had allowed them to bring the ark back to its rightful place, that he leapt, whirled, and danced for the glory and honor of God. She may have also been a little bitter because her father had been king before David, but was booted out of the job because of his own disobedience to God. Either way, David replied, telling her that he would get even more undignified, and humiliate himself, to make himself less, God greater.
Now here’s what I’m NOT saying. I’m not saying it’s OK for anyone to go out into the street mostly naked, and dance. That was a different time and culture, and stuff like that is generally frowned upon in modern day America. What I am saying is that we could do a better job of being lost in worship. There’s a video circulating on social media of a group of people in one of those club grocery stores in Dothan, Alabama singing hymns around a lady playing a floor model electric piano. Even one of the store employees got in on it. These folks didn’t have a care in the world. They were singing about their awesome God in the middle of a shopping trip. That may look like foolishness to some. It may even seem undignified. I say, that we as Christians could do more to outwardly worship God, even if it means looking a little silly in the process.
Danny Burnham Religion Contributor