Dancing for the KING of kings

King David- A Man After God’s Own Heart

Dancing for the KING of kings

Sunday, February 7th 2021

 

Welcome: You know what I love about little children-it’s their carefree attitude to let joy flow through every part of their being and freely express it as they feel it! We see it in the way they laugh with full belly laughs and the way they embrace someone they are so excited to see! We hear it when they sing with everything they have not caring if they are in tune or not. We feel their joy as we watch them dance and jump and twirl around. 

 

How many times have little kids drawn you into dancing goofy and carefree with them and you do it knowing you’ll look silly to others, but you don’t care because in that moment  your dance is for them? Your dancing with them brings them great joy so you do it. You let down your guard and you open your heart to fully express joy and you have a lot of fun don’t you? 

I used to love those moments of spontaneous dancing, singing or just being silly with my kids as they were little. It didn’t matter where we were, for those few seconds it was just us swept up in a joyful moment! Those are some of my favorite times to look back on too! I bet they are for you as well. 

Now I enjoy the crazy, silly dance parties with my niece, and she is the master at being silly! 

There is a reason we respond so favorably to expressing pure joy without holding back or caring what others think. We were designed to share joy with God and one another! God is joy and He dwells in us so His joy is in us. We are connected to Him through His Spirit and the Spirit delights in praising God with joyful noises and a joyful heart! His Word tells us not to quench the Spirit. We do that when we suppress both feelings and expressing joy. On the flip side when we open our hearts and lift up a joyful praise to our God, the Spirit flows freely and draws us into the presence of our Living God. These are wonderful moments to experience! 

 

God delights in a joyful and humble worshipper! He responds with great joy towards us as we do. Have you thought much about our God being joyful? When you look at the joy that radiates from little children, have you thought it’s His joy-that of our heavenly Father being freely expressed through them.  

This is why being around children is so refreshing to our soul….maybe in small doses for some of us. 😊  

Today as we continue in our series focusing on King David, we’re going to look at a very significant day in history, where David danced with all that he had before His King. David as leader over Israel, would humble himself and let his people see him freely worship God so they might come to know God in a deeper, more personal way themselves. David wanted to teach Israel how to open their hearts to God’s love as he had learned to do so long ago. He would lead through humble examples and God would respond with great favor and blessing! 

Let’s pray and invite the Spirit to move in us and lift us to a joyful state as we continue to worship our God. 

 

As we discussed last week, David had defeated the Philistines in battle and Israel was finally a united nation. David and his men went on to capture Jerusalem and make it their city, in fact, it would be the holy city for Israel. It wouldn’t just be the physical capital of their nation, it would also become the spiritual capital for Israel. David cared for more than just the physical state of Israel; he cared about the spiritual well-being of the people. 

Israel had a long history, but they had not matured very much spiritually in their years from being slaves in Egypt. Saul didn’t lead the way to living by faith and the Israelites didn’t know how to have a personal faith in God. God was distant to them. David wanted to change this and show his people how to personally and joyfully worship before the Lord, their God. 

So, David determined he would have the Ark of the Covenant brought into Jerusalem, their new spiritual capital and it would be placed in a tabernacle he would have prepared (which was really a tent so they could sacrifice and worship God). This was all very good and would be in alignment with what God desired for His people.

The Ark was a sacred item containing the commandments God Himself inscribed, a jar of the manna that was provided by God to those in the wilderness and the staff that budded from Aaron-the high priest. These were all to be reminders of God’s holiness, provision and commandments for His people. The Ark itself was holy and the presence of God would hover over it as the high priest heard from Him.  

Long ago, the Ark of the Covenant had been stored away during the time of Samuel as judge, and all throughout Saul’s reign of 40 years. It had been a long time since the Ark was actively in service, which meant the protocols for how they were to handle the Ark had not been talked about in over a generation. They were not familiar with handling this sacred item as God commanded. 

David gained agreement from the elders to bring the Ark to Jerusalem out of storage, and he rallied 30,000 men. He also brought along priests and Levites. They had a new oxen cart made to carry it. They loaded the Ark on the cart and had Levites walking on the sides and out in front. All seemed great. They started singing joyfully as they made their way back to Jerusalem. God would surely be pleased with all they were doing! Glory be to God! 

About half-way back to Jerusalem, they hit a rough patch in the road and it tipped the cart a bit. One of the men, Uzzah, a Levite walking alongside the cart reached out his hand to steady the Ark and keep it from falling off the cart. While it seemed like a reasonable thing to do and God would surely not want the Ark to fall and crash to the ground, that action of touching the Ark made God burn with anger.  He struck Uzzah down in that spot and he died. 

David couldn’t believe it and was dumbfounded and angry.

Why would God do such a thing when they were doing a great thing to bring the Ark to Jerusalem and hold sacrifices and honor to God once more?

It didn’t make sense.  They were joyfully praising God, what went wrong?  David was afraid to move the Ark further so they found a home of a Levite named Obed-edom and left it there. David returned to Jerusalem dejected, confused and quite somber. He would remain that way for some time, but then word came to him that Obed and all his family were incredibly blessed in every possible way, simply by the Ark of the Covenant being in their home. This caused David to rise up above feelings of anger and consider if they missed something in their handling of the Ark. Surely, the blessings of the Lord were with the Ark and those blessings should be for all the nation, not just one house. 

David sent his scribes to study the scriptures and historical documents and sure enough they found out they had unintentionally handled the Ark no different than the Philistines did with their pagan priests when they took the Ark captive. Plus, they had not honored the occasion enough in holy preparation, nor had he assigned qualified men for the transport.

You see only the priests were able to touch the sacred things of God.  All priests were Levites, but not all Levites were priests. 

David and his men had mishandled the sacred and God could not stand for that. 

It was a harsh lesson no doubt when intentions were good. Yet, David was humbled to be ever mindful of the holiness of God and to do all things with great reverence to Him. 

So they studied the Scripture and looked for the specific commandments in handling the Ark of the Covenant-what to carry it with, who to include, how to sanctify yourselves prior-every detail was closely followed. Now they were ready, 3 months later, they had properly prepared and made the trip again to bring the Ark into Jerusalem. Confidence, peace, and pure joy returned to David’s heart for he knew this time God would be celebrating with them! David’s joy was bursting from within as they were safely entering Jerusalem with the Ark of the Covenant. This was truly a new day for Israel the nation spiritually and David would hold nothing back as He praised God for all that He was and is, for His mighty protection over Israel and for His everlasting love. 

 

1 Chronicles 15: 25-29 NLT

25 Then David and the elders of Israel and the generals of the army went to the house of Obed-edom to bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant up to Jerusalem with a great celebration. 26 And because God was clearly helping the Levites as they carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams.

27 David was dressed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who carried the Ark, and also the singers, and Kenaniah the choir leader. David was also wearing a priestly garment. 28 So all Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant with shouts of joy, the blowing of rams’ horns and trumpets, the crashing of cymbals, and loud playing on harps and lyres.

29 But as the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David skipping about and laughing with joy, she was filled with contempt for him.

  • Mishandling the Sacred 

As we just recounted, David and his men were ignorant about the handling of certain sacred things. Uzzah and his brother had likely become too familiar with the sacred things because the Ark had been in storage near them all their lives. Uzzah was a Levite, but he was not a priest. He should not have been one walking right next to the Ark-only a priest should have been there.  They shouldn’t have just assumed an ox cart was the appropriate means of transportation for something sacred. They should have assumed there would be a certain protocol like there is with every other sacred item, ceremony or sacrament. But they were excited to do something great for the Lord, and in their jubilant haste a great tragedy happened. God is always holy and demands holiness to be honored. 

 

2 Samuel 6: 3-4 NLT They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab’s sons, were guiding the cart that carried the Ark of God. Ahio walked in front of the Ark. 

2 Samuel 6: 6-7 NLT But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand and steadied the Ark of God. Then the Lord’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this. So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God.

We can mishandle the sacred as well in our walk with Christ if we are not careful.

We can become careless, routine and more focused on the tradition of doing something for God, then we are on God Himself. We could memorize scripture or prayers or take part in sacraments but have our hearts distant to God, and worshipping things of this world.  Have you ever been more focused on your “to do” list that follows church then truly being present during worship?  Are we more consumed with our houses, vehicles, hobbies, work then we are in making time to be present before God? 

Isaiah 29:13 NIV 13 The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.

God is holy. He demands we honor holiness. He demands for us to appropriately handle what is sacred-including our worship of Him. 

  • Reverence for the Holy (vs. 26-27)

Once David got past his angry, defensive state towards God, he was willing to look at what went wrong. At first, when we’re disciplined by God we don’t want to listen and hear what we could have missed do we? David didn’t either. But remember David was a man after God’s own heart and he loved God. He couldn’t remain angry and distant with God for too long-nor should any of us when we come up against His holy anger.

David wisely humbled himself to consider what he missed. Where did he miss honoring God and all things holy?  This time around David made sure everyone upheld great reverence for the holiness of God. Let us remember all that God does is to teach us to be more like Him, we are transformed from glory to glory. So as you’re disciplined, corrected and maybe even feel dejected, look again and see what God might be trying to teach you. Don’t harden your heart as He corrects you.

 

1 Chronicles 15: 12-13 NLT 12 He said to them, “You are the leaders of the Levite families. You must purify yourselves and all your fellow Levites, so you can bring the Ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place I have prepared for it. 13 Because you Levites did not carry the Ark the first time, the anger of the Lord our God burst out against us. We failed to ask God how to move it properly.”

Author Ron Bishop who wrote the book I created this series from said, “God can touch man, and all is improved, but the fingerprints of man must never contaminate the things of God.”  

Pretty powerful to put things in perspective right? 

David knew full well how important it was to revere God as holy. He was reminded in this time how very important it is to always come before God to hear from Him and search His Word to know what is right, just and good before acting, even when his intentions were good. Our “good” intentions can never equate to what is holy. We have to come before God and listen for His council and follow His ways. Then He will bless all our efforts. Then they will truly be good in the eyes of the Lord for His blessing will be upon it. 

David was inspired to write this in Psalm 86: 

Psalm 86: 9-11 All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. 10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. 11 Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

 

May this be a prayer we lift up to God often as well. You alone are God, I am nothing but dust. Teach me Your way God that I can rely on You and walk in Your holiness. Let us revere God who is holy. Let us honor what is sacred. 

Because as we do, we cannot help but feel our hearts leap with joy! David was moved to dance like never before when he humbled himself, repented of wrong handling and offered up reverent worship for all that is holy. This was the time to show Israel who God truly was and how experiencing the love of God feels. This was not the time for David to be all kingly and proper. He took off all royal robes and chose to wear a simple linen robe like every day priests would wear as they served the Lord. It was not a day for David to be the spotlight. It was all glory and praise to God Almighty! David humbled himself before God and his people and he danced as they brought in the Ark. He danced and jumped and spun about because in that moment he felt that carefree joy as little children do-knowing God’s favor was with them and he just wanted to dance for His King! 

 

  • Compelled to Dance (v. 29) 

Have you ever felt like that before God? Maybe you don’t physically dance about or maybe you do, but your heart is so filled with joy that you feel like it’s going to burst out of your chest? This is what God wants us to experience. This is what David wanted Israel to know. God gave David a revelation that day as His Spirit was upon him- of what the Church (all of us today) would have the freedom to do in worship. They didn’t dance freely like that then-but David caught a glimpse and personally experienced what the future church could be like. How amazing! 

David didn’t care what others thought about him at that moment. In fact, he was hoping others were watching so they could learn how freeing it is to let the joy of the Lord flow through you! His wife, Saul’s daughter, did not welcome this carefree expression of joy in her husband, the king. It was very unkingly and dishonoring to all in the royal family. 

2 Samuel 6:20 NLT 20 When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!”

That was cutting to David and he saw in Michal what he hoped wouldn’t be there, the same spirit Saul had. She was not for David, nor was she with David. Her heart was not open to worshipping God as David would. David knew his calling and where his loyalty lie-with God above all. God chose him for a purpose and he would live a life worthy of the calling on his life. He would honor His God above all, even if he looked foolish to others. 

2 Samuel 6: 21-22 21 David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! 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! 

Does the Holy Spirit compel you to dance before the Lord? Are you willing? Maybe it’s not a physical dance always, but it’s a dancing of your heart. Let us not quench the Spirit. Remember the joy we feel as we let our guard down around small children. We do it for them, surely God is worthy as well to let joy overflow in us towards Him in worship. 

Conclusion:  The day of bringing the Ark into Jerusalem was not just a day of rituals and tradition, it was a day of joyous celebration and consecration to God. What set David apart was his evaluation of what pleased God-he sought to understand what God delights in and responds to. So when that was made known to him he danced with every part of his being before the Lord. May we follow and let our hearts dance before the KING! 

Let’s pray. Father God, we humble ourselves before You. You alone are God. There is no one like You. There is no one greater than You. You are all-powerful and all-knowing. You are loving and kind. We come in awe that the God of all the universe would care to know us and desire to spend time with us. Lord manifest Yourself in us. Let Your Spirit rise and overflow in us. Help us Father to freely and fully worship You like Your servant David did. Let us experience Your joy welling up inside us as we come into Your magnificent presence. We adore You. Help us let go of thoughts that keep us distant from You. Let Your Spirit rise in us and call us to dance before You God. We open our hearts to be filled with Your love. Fill us overflowing today Father. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. 

 

Communion: How fitting we gather together to partake in communion on the day we shared this message of letting our hearts dance before our King. Let us remember this is not just a ritual or tradition that we do without thought, but that we engage our hearts and minds. We come before our God humbled and in absolute adoration that the Lord  of all the universe, Creator and God Almighty should care for our lowly state. That He is not only aware of us-one small grain of sand among all the other people in the world, but that He loves us fully and spared nothing to make a way for us to be personally connected with Him for all eternity.

He loves us so much He sent His Son who was and is without sin, to take the place for all humanity who is filled with sin. Jesus loves us so much, He willingly and humbly went to the cross and took the nails in our place. He let the soldiers pierce His side so His blood that is spotless and without blemish would flow on heaven’s altar. That day on the cross, the sin of mankind was defeated and the penalty for sin which is death, was met through our Savior. Because of what Jesus did, sent by our Father in heaven who loves us, we as Believers don’t have to fear death and we can enjoy the fellowship Jesus and God share, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

Because of what Jesus did, we who are but dust, have been fused to glory. Think about that for a moment and let the magnitude of what happened at the cross settle into your heart this morning. This is why we partake in communion together. Not to add on another tradition to appear holy. No. To come together as the Body, joined by His Spirit, to offer up humble worship, to remember exactly who Jesus is as our Lord and Savior, to set our hearts on Him and to honor the sacred. 

Let us pray and give thanks for the love we have from the Father that is beyond our comprehension and for the salvation we have in Jesus-oh what a Savior. 

Jesus as you commanded us, we come before You and we remember Your great sacrifice that is to our direct gain. We remember Your love so amazing that You would willingly lay down Your life for us so we could be made new and become whole through You. You are the only way to the Father. You are the Life in us. You are truth. You are the narrow gate we pass through to enter into God’s presence and we thank You today, and every day for Your sacrifice and Your salvation. 

As we partake in this bread we eat it by faith remembering Your body that was given on the cross for us. As we drink of the juice we do so by faith, believing it is Your cleansing blood washing through every part of us and purifying us before God once more. We believe by faith, Your blood was the atonement for our sin and we thank You Jesus. Thank You for making us new. Help us to live a life worthy of Your great sacrifice and let us always see this sacrament as sacred. Release Your cleansing power through us today Jesus and purify our hearts. In Your name we pray. Your name Jesus, we exalt. Amen. 

 

Final Blessing: 1 Thessalonians 5: 23-24 23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *