Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dance Like David

Recently I took one of those little online quizzes that help you determine things about yourself. You know the ones- What Decade Should You Have Been Born In? or Which Boy Band Best Reflects Your Life? Those things. This particular one was Which Biblical Character Are You Most Like?  Knowing the Bible pretty well and knowing myself very well, I took the test anticipating one of two outcomes. If the quiz leaned towards the New Testament, the answer would be Peter. I'm stubborn. rash when I shouldn't be and timid at the worst of times- but I do love Jesus. If the quiz skewed toward the Old Testament, there was no doubt in my mind the answer would be David. We share far too many things in common. He did some great things in the name of the LORD. He defeated Goliath, was named King of the nation of Israel, was a musician and was called "a man after God's own heart." He also screwed up in some big, big ways and found redemption and solace in God's love and in writing songs. His Psalms are often full of the joy of the LORD; on other occasions they cry out for forgiveness and mercy. The test agreed with me- David was the answer.

Marilyn and I went to church last night and our pastor is in the midst of a series on Psalm 23- so David was on my mind yet again. The stories of his life kept popping into my mind, and I once again felt a real kinship with the ups and downs of his joy and his agony. One of my favorite David moments was this one, found in 2 Samuel 6:14"And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment." God had made him King, and he was so full of praise for his Heavenly Father that he just had to dance. And while scripture doesn't spell it out for us, he apparently danced with such vigor that he danced right out of that priestly garment. He was totally in the moment with God, praising God's name and not caring who saw or what they thought. And at least one witness found the display disturbing. The scripture continues in verses 20-22 (NIV):
When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!”
David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord. Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! 
And there it was, the question starring me down like a bear in the woods. When was the last time I was undignified before my LORD? As a youth pastor all those years. being foolish in God's name was second nature. But in the years since, there has been very little dancing. Very few undignified moments spent praising God. The love of God and the grace on Jesus still fill my heart on many occasions, but there are precious few times these days I actually shout for joy to the LORD. It's time to change that, to be so full of joy that I become undignified and look foolish. It's time to dance like David!
Now don't get me wrong- no one wants to see me dance and NO ONE needs to see me come out of my garments! As many of my oldest friends know I have a trick knee (my excuse and I'm sticking to it!) that has kept me off the dance floor since middle school. But my soul can dance- and it needs to be set free to disco the night away. Praising God should not be limited to sanitized moments in a sanctuary. We need to cut loose and let the world know that when we worship God, our hearts, minds, souls and bodies need to dance. And when we think we are looking foolish, we need to remember David's words and be willing to become even MORE undignified! Some will actually dance or give shouts of praise, while others of us will fall to our knees or lose ourselves in deep silence. But we will look strange to the world. Such foolishness...
If this little devo has hit home with you, that is wonderful. But it's actually just for me. My life is a testament to our ultimate humanity, to following Jesus and to falling flat on my face. But God never leaves us or forsakes us. We are always loved. And that should be enough to make me dance like David.
Because of Jesus, 


  1. Anonymous9/28/2014

    I really want to see your soul disco, my friend! Great post. ~ Chris Cooper

    1. I'm not sure even watching my soul dance would make for good viewing. But thanks, Chris!


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