“What is David’s Dancing before the Lord all About Anyway?”
Pastor Steve touched on this in His message last Sunday. King David had wanted to return the Ark to Jerusalem. He had tried once, but it’s transport resulted in the death of a well intentioned man, Uzzah. (2 Sam. 6:6) Then, after seeing how God blessed the household of Abinadab, where they had left the Ark, David decided to try again but this time according to the manner proscribed in the Law. This time he was successful and David “danced before the Lord” (2 Sam. 6:14).
One commentator explained that processions of this kind were often preceeded by a dancing clown performing in honor of the person or thing which prompted the procession. This was always done by a slave. David then took the place of the slave in an act of submission and worship.
Myself, I prefer the simpler explanation: David is just thrilled out of His socks!
I always enjoy the scene in the original 1951 version of Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol.” It is the morning after Scrooge is visited by the three spirits. He awakens delighted that he hasn’t yet missed Christmas. Running to his bedroom window he commissions a youth passing by to run to the butcher and have them send their fattest goose to Bob Cratchit.
Overjoyed he begins dancing around his bedroom. His housemaid, Mrs Dilber, has come in and after some time cautiously asks, “Are you all right, Mr. Scrooge?” Scrooge (ecstatic) replies, “I… I don’t know. I don’t know anything. I never did know anything.” He starts laughing, “But now I KNOW that I don’t know anything!” Then he begins to sing and prance about and clap his hands, “I don’t know anything! I never did know anything! But now I know that I don’t know… All on a Christmas morning!” Unsure what to do with all his pent-up joy he asks himself, “Shall I stand on my head? I must stand on my head.” He does so, and Mrs. Dilber runs out of the room screaming. – Watch the end clip of this classic film here.
I think this pretty well describes the elation that prompted David’s dancing. It was an expression of his sheer joy before the Lord. The Lord had blessed this relocation of the Ark by making it successful. No one perished on this trip for David had taken pains this time to move it according to the Law. God’s pleasure was upon him.
There is no greater joy than to live in good conscience with God.
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