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  • Writer's pictureChristy Schuette

Joyful Worship

May 30


2 Samuel 5-6

Psalm 67:5-7

Proverbs 14:28-30

John 20


Joyful Worship

 

“David was dancing with all his might before the Lord wearing a linen ephod.  He and the whole house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of the ram’s horn.  As the ark of the Lord was entering the city of David, Saul’s daughter, Michel looked down from the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord and she despised him in her heart.”   2 Samuel 6:14-16 HCSB

 

God made a covenant with His people, the children of Israel when they were delivered from Egypt.  He promised blessings to them if they obeyed His laws and He warned that they would have to face punishment and hardship if they disobeyed.  The Ark of the Covenant was a sign of this covenant and represented the promise of the presence of God. It contained the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments giving the law.  It contained Aaron’s budded staff showing the line of priesthood through Aaron’s family, the Levites.  And it contained a jar of manna to remind them of the Lord’s constant provision for them.  The Ark was to be placed in the inner sanctum of the tabernacle in the desert and then in the Temple when it was built in Jerusalem.  The lid of the Ark was called the mercy seat.  Once a year the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies and poured the blood from a spotless lamb on the mercy seat.  This provided atonement for their sins for the next year.  Each year this sacrifice was repeated.  It was the only place where this atonement could happen.  The Ark is a foreshadowing of Jesus’ death on the cross where He was the ultimate sacrifice for the atonement of sins once for all and now Jesus is the only place where we can go to receive forgiveness for our sins.   

 

During Saul’s reign the Ark had been stolen by the Philistines.  After Saul’s death there was fighting between Saul’s family and David for control of the kingdom.  There was division among the people, and they had become lax in their religious practices.  By bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem, David was symbolically returning the presence of God to the temple, unifying the kingdom, and restoring religious worship.  This was a wonderful day of rejoicing.  There was a parade, and everyone came to celebrate. Everyone except Michel, the queen.  Verse 14 tells us that David was dancing with all his might before the Lord wearing a linen ephod.  It sounds like this means he was dancing around in his underwear, but that isn’t exactly accurate.  A linen ephod was two pieces of linen attached at the shoulders and brought together at the waist by a belt.  It would not have been indecent or revealing in any way as Michel suggested.  Michel was not concerned that he was dancing naked, she was concerned that he was not conducting himself in a manner worthy of a king.  She was concerned with his reputation and standing and that he was not wearing his royal robes and kingly attire.  When he saw the Ark, he set aside his royal robes and entered the presence of God not as a king, but as a humble servant.  He was acknowledging before God and all the people present that God was the One who deserved praise and worship, not him.  This was a beautiful act of humility.  He was so excited to be in the presence of God that he danced with all his might.  He couldn’t contain his joy.  I imagine this is what Heaven will be like. 

 

There are different styles of worshiping the Lord. I do not think that one is necessarily better than the other. Some people worship through dance and exuberant movement, while others enter God’s presence in a more reverent, quiet way. The condition of our heart is the significant factor. When we worship, it is important to come humbly into the presence of Almighty God. We abandon any concern about what other people will think or how we may be perceived. We set aside any ideas of our own importance and reputation. We focus all our attention on Jesus, the One who deserves all glory and honor and praise. I pray that, like David, I would come into the presence of the Lord with abandon and humility and worship Him with all my might.

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