But as the Ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she was filled with contempt for him.
They brought the Ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And David sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Then he gave to every Israelite man and woman in the crowd a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people returned to their homes.
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!”
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. (NLT)
The scene was the final night of a Christian conference. After some days of solid teaching and deep prayer, there was much celebrating in song. Hands were waved, a few even danced in the aisles. And peering over the balcony were two observers, ministers of religion with clipboards in hands. As the others let loose in praise, they were deep in conversation, analysing what was going on. Their report on what was going on was highly critical of what was going on.
It seems letting our hair down before the Lord is not always appreciated. Our text today is yet another reminder. King David is overcome with joy at the return of the sacred documents of Sinai to their proper place in Jerusalem. His wife, Michal, is more concerned with appearances. He was not upholding the dignity of his position. He could cause a scandal.
She was probably correct. But there are times when dignity takes second place to delight. And our fear of what others might think can paralyse us into a pale conformity rather than letting our hair down and giving vent to our happiness.
Of course temperament and personality factors mean we won’t all sing and dance with exuberance. There is such a thing as quiet joy! But we must not censor those who choose to celebrate with abandon. Our Christian faith is more than just discreet good manners and keeping up appearances.
True, there are dangers in going off the deep end. But what about the dangers of going off the shallow end?