This passage always fascinated me as a teenager. We find King David, in his desire to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to the City of David, celebrating it’s transport with sacrifices and dancing. The scripture tells us that he danced wildly before the Lord in full abandon of any propriety that would befit a king.
Michal chastises King David for his actions and her sarcasm is met with this profound statement; “He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord. 22 Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes!”
Acts of worship are not meant to be for the eyes and opinions of others, but for God alone. Too often, we worry how our expression of worship will be perceived by others, so we choose to stand, unmoved and unmoving, hoping that our staunch and stoic portrayal of personal restraint will make us look mature and wise. Perhaps we’ve become so comfortable with this sagely image, that we make the mistake of thinking our restraint is, in fact, what makes us holy.
But King David is showing us the opposite. David forgoes any staunch, kingly poise and dances until his clothes fall off. His passionate worship would not be hindered by trying to maintain an image, but that he would be willing to look even MORE foolish, even to himself.
Maybe you’re harboring some preconceived notions of what expressions of worship are acceptable. Maybe you’ve felt the urge to be more expressive in worship but have worried about what others may think of you. You don’t have to dance wildly like King David to be a passionate worshipper. I believe that, more than anything, God wants us to be authentic in our expressions of worship, to seek God’s approval more than the approval of others, and to allow ourselves the freedom to worship God passionately, even at the risk of looking foolish.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to look past what others may think of us. Open our eyes to the ways we’ve held ourselves back from you. Empower us to overcome our obsession with image and worship you as our most authentic selves. That we may be passionate in our expressions of worship and that you may be glorified through it all. Amen