Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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May 2 – The Time To Dance

“David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as also were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers and Chenaniah the leader of the music of the singers. And David wore a linen ephod.  So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, to the sound of the horn, trumpets, and cymbals, and made loud music on harps and lyres. And as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David dancing and celebrating, and she despised him in her heart.” 1 Chron. 15:27-29

Devotional Thought For The Day

We must get past the issue that Michal raised in regard to this celebration. There were problems in this first marriage of David, to the daughter of Saul. The dynamics of power had changed – at first Michal was the royal daughter and David a mere servant of the king. After the defeat of Saul and his death at the hands of the Philistines, David became king. Now, he was the royalty and Michal belonged only by marriage.  Further, David had taken other wives while he was on the run from Saul, and after his establishment as King we read that “David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David.” [2 Sam. 5:13] This could only have added more salt to the already deteriorated relationship – and apparently Michal had become quite embittered. She not only despised David in her heart but pronounced the same to him – and the divorce was not formal but real [see 2 Same. 6:20-23].

Joy in the LORD contrasted with such bitterness of heart. Celebration at the entrance of the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, the new capital of Israel and a rising world power, versus jealousy, despising, hatred, and malice. That Michal chose not to be part of the great celebration is revealing.  But I suspect that we have all experienced the same on some occasion – when we are celebrating something and another person’s hardened heart spills out its anger, vitriol, and hatred toward us.  They think that they are identifying something untoward in us; but they are really revealing their own darkness of heart. Such occasions can permanently seal a relationship in antagonism and animosity. This is why we must take care not to allow anger, jealousy, envy, wrath, and malice to have any permanent residence in our hearts.

What of the nature of this celebratory worship – the dancing, the instruments, the great procession?  Is this not what the gracious mercy, forgiveness, kindness, and love of God inspire in the hearts of believers?  It was the Ark of the Covenant, with the mercy seat, that was coming into Jerusalem. This was the center focal point of faith, and for the blessings that come with faith, in Old Testament times. It was the promise and assurance of God’s presence, His blessings, His forgiveness, His mercy, His eternal love for His dear people of faith. Remember that Jesus Christ is closely associated with the Ark, being described in the New Testament as both the “mercy seat” and the “blood of atonement” sprinkled on the mercy seat.  The whole celebration centered in the glorious Gospel of God’s gracious mercy, forgiveness, and covenant of eternal, unconditional love.

Although we are celebrating the same things in our worship – especially in the communion with Christ’s body and blood, we tend to be quite a bit more somber and reserved.  Perhaps David was also more reserved in worship after this reminder from Michal of the dire reality of human sin and wretchedness. We are well aware of our own continuing struggles with sin and darkness, our need for deep repentance and forgiveness. We also see the conditions which prevail in the world around us, and this is cause for grave sorrow. However, “where sin abounded, there grace abounded all the more” [Rom. 5:20], and “the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” [1 Jn. 1:7] It is surely as the wise man wrote, that there is “a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” [Eccl. 3:4] Perhaps we need to make sure that we do our share of dancing, lest we become like Michal, despising the joyful faith and celebration of God’s love by others. So let us consider: when is it our time to dance?

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, too often we allow the reality of sin and its darkness to suppress the joy of Your salvation. We allow our own sin and guilt, and the sin of others to obscure the light of Your glorious grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Restore to us the joy of Your salvation, that as You will, our joy may be full. Grant us courage to express this joy in worship, and in all of life. Amen.