S188P10 – Acts of worship: the dance

2 Sam. 6:12-15

And it was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.”  So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing.  And when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal.  And David danced before the Lord with all his might.  And David was wearing a linen ephod.  So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.

Whether at home or in church, her times of worship through praise were calm and solemn.  Other than the occasional clapping along with the music, she normally did not move more than her lips.  She never felt stirred to worship God by dancing or waving the flags.  Then the big day came when one of her closest friends accepted the offer to join her for church. Her friend sat quietly during the sermon, not asking too many questions. At the end of the service the pastor gave an altar call, and the miraculous happened.  Her friend stood, made her way to the stage, and knelt down to be led through a prayer of repentance.  She could not contain her joy and gratitude and finally danced before the Lord, thanking him with every fiber of her being for saving her friend.

Dancing before the Lord in worship comes naturally to some, but for others it is a complete insecurity.  It might take all they can muster just to raise a song before others, hoping no one hears them.  The thing about dancing in praise, worshiping with the movement of our bodies, is that it does make us rather vulnerable.  We have to forget about being seen or being thought of as strange.  Dancing before the Lord is for him, a way that we show him that He is worth the praise.  In fact, David’s dance in this passage accompanies a sacrifice of thanksgiving.  It was as if praising God simply with his words or his hands just could not accurately convey how grateful he was.

When I think of dancing as a way of praising God, I think of magnitude.  I can give only him so much praise with my words, with my song.  I can add to that a clap or a jump, or maybe I bow my head in reverence.  Dancing before the Lord, however, engages every member that I have.  It is a full expenditure of energy to show God the extent of my gratitude.  Physically, I can do no more than offer up my entire body in a dance of praise.  He is worthy, and I am thankful, so perhaps a dance of thanksgiving is long overdue.  Father, thank You for giving us an unending list of reasons to be grateful, and make us people who are not ashamed to show our gratitude with a dance of praise.