David the prophet danced before the Lord as an expression of praise for His blessings. “Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet” (2 Samuel 6:14-15).
David’s act of dancing was an expression of consecrated joy. To an Oriental of that day such an action was a normal display of praise. By this action, the king showed his gratitude and praise and thus glorified the name of the Almighty God. There was nothing in the actions of the king that is similar to or that will approve of our the modern dance.
Today’s dancing doesn’t bring a person closer to his Maker nor does it give the dancer holier thoughts or pure feelings. on the Contrary. It certainly doesn’t inspire a person to pray or study the Scriptures. And it doesn’t ennoble a person and lead him to live a godly life. It corrupts the morals and mares the image of God in man (Genesis 1:26).
When David danced before the Lord, he took off his kingly rope and wore a simple linen ephod, the kind that was worn by the priests and those that served in the temple of God as a sign of humility and service in God’s temple (1 Samuel 2:18; 22:18; 2 Chronicles 5:12). In doing this, David did not assume priestly position; he was merely showed his citizens that he was read to humble himself and become one with them in the ministry of God.
David’s dance was similar to that of the lame man who leaped for joy after being healed by Jesus. “So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him” (Acts 3:8-10).
Such dancing or leaping, is recommended by Jesus to those who are being persecuted (Luke 6:22, 23). Dancing in worship and praise to God is acceptable “Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp”; “Praise him with the timbrel and dance” (Psalm 149:3; 150:4).
The Dance of Miriam
A similar joyous experience is rerecorded in the Bible where Miriam and other women danced to celebrate the victory God’s power that He had brought at the Red Sea. “And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances” (Exodus 15:20).
In contrast to Miriam’s experience of Holy dancing, we find the Israelites engaging in unholy dancing around the golden calf while being naked. “…He saw the calf, and the dancing…And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies… he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire” (Exodus 32:6, 19-25). This unholy dancing was sensual and indecent.
There was nothing in the dancing of David, Miriam and others worshiping God that is comparable to the modern dance. Today’s popular dance draws people away from God. It does not inspire the dancer to purer thoughts and life style. It degrades and corrupts. Dancing in a worldly, suggestive and immodest atmosphere is the kind of dancing that should be shunned by Christians.
In His service,