Thursday, January 29, 2015
The Vision (1.29.15): David's Gladness in the LORD
Note: The devotion below is taken from one of the closing applications in last Sunday morning’s sermon from 2 Samuel 6:12-23.
“So David went out and brought up the ark of God … with gladness” (2 Samuel 6:12b).
“And David danced before the Lord with all his might …” (v. 14).
“So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet” (v. 15).
We are to come before the Lord with gladness, with exuberance, and even with loud and clear voices.
Does this passage validate dancing, whether highly choreographed “interpretive movement,” so-called “liturgical dance,” or spontaneous dancing? “It’s right there in the 2 Samuel 6,” someone might say, “David did it.” But we must remember that the New Testament continues and completes God’s story, including God’s requirements in worship. The New Testament nowhere commands dancing. Notice too that this passage also describes sacrifices and religious objects (the ark itself), but we recognize that such physical things have passed away. Now, we worship in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24).
We must look to a principle here. And the principle is coming with joy and gladness and exuberance before the Lord.
One commentator noted how in this single chapter with its description of Uzzah’s error and David’s dancing, “fearfulness and gladness are held together. In Yahweh’s presence you should shudder and dance!” He adds, “a fearful sense of God’s holiness does not suppress joy but stimulates it” (Dale Ralph Davis, 2 Samuel: Looking on the Heart, p. 66).
It has been noted before that there is one kind of joy expressed at a football game when your team scores the winning touchdown. And there is another when you attend a formal graduation ceremony, a wedding, a monarch’s coronation, or a Presidential inauguration. I want to suggest that the joy we express in new covenant worship is more like the second than the first, but it is no less deep and profound. We are to have a deep and abiding gladness in God, so that our hearts dance before him.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle