This week I have been prepping for my “Mighty Mights” Sunday school class this weekend. They are 2-4 years old and cuter than anything. This weekend I am teaching about King David. My teaching partner and I have felt the need to back to those old awesome “bible stories” because where else do you learn them but Sunday school??? WELL instead of teaching some classic bible story (nothing wrong with it!) I felt the desire to teach them about the worshiping heart of David.
I will not even try to hide how much I like King David…. its a bit embarrassing actually. So I was super excited to do a bit or research about him. One of my favorite accounts in the old testament is when they brought the ark of the covenant onto the city while King David lead them in a unbridled joy filled dance of celebration, praise and worship. Every time I read it, something inside of me dances too!
So I came across an interesting article (http://www.mbseminary.edu/files/download/guenther3.pdf?file_id=12815193) about that account. The author does talk about 2 other people in this story but I wanted to share a bit about David that really stuck out to me:
“And then there is David. His story holds the centre of this narrative. Why did David dance? He
danced before the Ark, reckless and joyful and dare I say it, naked (or at least almost naked).
What accounts for such a dramatic difference? David knew something about God to which
Uzzah was blind and deaf.
I think it is because David lived dangerously all his life–with lions and bears, taunting giants and
a psychologically unstable, murderous king, constantly running from or fighting marauding
Philistines, etc. He was always running, hiding, praying, loving. David was never in a position to
take care of God; he was always in a position of being taken care of by God. So, David had
learned to live openly, recklessly and exultantly before God. David knew God was not a sheep
to be tended and trimmed; God was Saviour and Commander. David lived life on the edge, and
on this edge he knew he needed God.
Notice too that David is not very careful or proper with God. He completely loses his temper
with God when he sees the death of Uzzah. He is outrageously furious! But what David did not
see was the years that had led up to Uzzah’s death. All David saw was the interruption of his
parade and national party, which rather suddenly turned into a funeral procession. So he goes
home sulking and pouting. David’s anger didn’t get him killed. Why? Because he was as alive to
God in his anger as he had been earlier in his praise. He didn’t like what had happened, but at
least he treated God as God. I imagine Uzzah as being far too well mannered to get angry with God.
After Uzzah’s death David goes home to Jerusalem; he has time to think. And his anger turns to
fear. The parallel passage in Chronicles gives us some behind-the-scenes information. He did
some homework, and together with the Levites discovered the proper way of handling the Ark,
and he admits his mistake. Three months later he is back, this time with his entire musical
ensemble–harps, lyres, tambourines, cymbals, and more. This time they are going to bring the
Ark home to Jerusalem right.
This time David leads the way–no more Uzzah. Imagine the risk and the courage–the last person
who led the way was struck dead! By now, everyone in the country would have heard the story.
What do you think the people would have thought of David if he had simply appointed someone
else to lead the way? David puts himself at risk.
How does he lead? He danced–dancing here I believe is a metaphor for worship. And he danced
with a kind of reckless abandon, without consideration for public propriety. He was on the edge
of mystery, of glory. So, he danced.
Now when we go about our daily work responsibly and steadily, we walk. Walking is our normal
way of moving. But when we are beside ourselves with love, when we have been shaken out of a
preoccupation with ourselves, we dance. This is why David danced.
If David had simply been carrying out his religious duties or conducting a political ceremony, he
would have walked in solemn procession before the Ark and led it into Jerusalem with dignity.
But this wasn’t a duty. And the presentation of himself as the picture-perfect example of dignity
was not his objective. He wasn’t taking care of God, insuring that God would be properly
honoured in his own life. He was worshipping, responding to the living God. In this sense, we
need dancing lessons from King David. When is the last time you stepped out in courage and
took a risk for God? What decisions in your life reflect your sense of dependence on God?”