About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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David Danced

In 2 Sam. 6 you see the story of David, the ark of the covenant, and David dancing before the Lord.  This Scripture has been quoted as an encouragement for Christians to dance in their  worship time Sunday mornings.  I would like to ask, just because David danced, does that mean we should be encouraged to dance?  Just because someone in the Bible does something, does that mean we should do it as well?  Should we go and buy a field, and hang ourselves in  a tree because of Judas' example?  I am sure that you would agree with me that we should not kill ourselves like Judas did.  This is a matter of how we interpret the Bible.  Just because someone does something in Scripture does not mean we need to do the same thing. 

I have seen the same idea concerning David and Jonathan, and the covenant they made with one another.  I have heard people suggest that we as individual Christians need to make covenants because David and Jonathan did.  This is poor Biblical interpretation.

Let us look at David.  I am not a scholar of David's life, but just look  at 2 Sam. 6.  In verse 6 and 7 we see that God was very upset with Uzzah because he touched the ark in an irreverent way.  Then in verse 8 David gets angry at God because God got angry at Uzzah.  I can just see David raging in his anger.  Now I don't know David personally, and I could be wrong, but he could have been  impulsive and very expressive in his emotions.  His anger might be understood better in this light. 

The ark stayed with Obed-Edom and as a result he and his household were blessed by God.  When David saw this blessing, David wanted to bring the ark back to his city.  So that is what he did.  While bringing the ark back, David was extremely happy.  He took most of his clothes off, except for his "ephod" (a short apron type under garment) and danced and leaped for joy.  This was an example  of David's expressive nature.  This I think, was typical David.  He most likely was a very expressive person.  There is nothing wrong with that. 

Now David's wife was not very happy with his actions because, according to her,  he as King was acting in "a vulgar way". (verse 20)  She was concerned because he was the king and he had disrobed in front of the slave girls and danced.  If you were David's wife you might not be very happy at his actions either. 

David defended his actions by saying that he "danced before the Lord". (verse 21)  He wasn't dancing before men or even the slave girls.  He went on to say, "if you think that was bad, just wait, because I will get even more undignified than this" (verse 22)

David was expressing a true emotion that he had, and he felt that there was nothing wrong with that.  He said that his actions were directed to the Lord, and not for any other reason, even though he took most of his clothes off in the process.  This passage does not say that David's actions were done in the Spirit.  It does not say that the Spirit of God came on David and caused him to dance.  The dancing was a genuine action based on David's God given personality. The dancing came from David's heart.   Because of this, I feel that we should not expect  others to dance because of this verse.  If your God given personality causes you to dance, then go ahead and dance.  But if one is not a dancer by nature, then don't worry about dancing.   

For those who still insist on persuading others to dance because of this Scripture, should you not also encourage others to dance in their underwear, as David did.  Also note, the ephod that David was wearing most likely exposed more of his body than underwear does in our day.  

A personal question that I would like to ask David, if I had the chance is, "what did he mean when he said that he would behave even more undignified"?   How much more undignified could he get?    

In conclusion, I am saying a couple of things.  Be careful how you interpret the Bible.  Just because someone does something that is found in the Bible does not mean we have to do the same.  Also, let us be careful in what we encourage others to do.  Let everyone express themselves in a way that is suitable to the personality that God has given them. 


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