David was rumoured to have danced so hard before God that his clothes fell off. What the scripture actually says is that, “And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod” (2 Samuel 6:14). This ephod was a sleeveless garment worn by the Priests. David would have worn this under his royal robes and kingly garments. On this occasion, in worship and adoration to God, David laid aside his royal apparel in order to worship God. As a backdrop to this story, David initially set out to take the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem.
They built a cart to transport the ark, the ark fell, Uzzah reached out to save it and died. David became afraid of the Lord and left the ark in the house of Obed-Edom. The Lord blessed the house of Obed-Edom and David was told about this. David went to collect the ark and take it back to Jerusalem with joy. On this occasion however, the ark was carried on the shoulders of the priests, as God had prescribed. David’s expression of worship included, singing and dancing before God. David danced until his wife became contemptuous and possibly embarrassed.
She scolded David for uncovering himself, before the male and female servants, as he danced before God. “I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honour” (2 Samuel 6:22). David’s heart was so set on worship and praise before God, that he was not worried about the opinion of others. He worshipped God, with the freedom to express his gratitude.
Most people use dance as a form of celebration at parties and other events. Yet some people remain stoic and barely express any emotions in a church setting. God is not a dead, boring, religious fanatic who values rigidity over joy and celebration. We use our bodies as an expression of gratitude unto God. The next time you are in a church service, make sure that you go prepared to sing, dance and celebrate before God. “Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing” (Psalm 100:2)!