David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord , who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord ’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord . I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” (2 Samuel 6:21-22 NIV)
There is a chorus sung in some churches with the following lyrics:
When I think of the goodness of Jesus
And what He has done for me
My soul cries out, “Hallelujah,
Thank God for saving me!”
There are those who sing this song with meaning and have no problem bellowing from the depth of their being the ‘Hallelujah” part. These same folks might be able to relate with King David in the activities of the 6th chapter of 2 Samuel.
The sentiment was clear. David wanted the ark of the Lord with him in his city. The Uzzah episode is something to consider in itself at some other juncture. What was apparent, however, was that the man’s death for irreverence when it came to the ark really shook up David. It took the prosperity of the man who was entrusted with the ark in the meantime to get David to snap out of his state of fear where that was concerned.
Here it was. The triumphant entrance of the ark to the city of David. The King himself had no problems in celebrating this entrance with his entire being. As far as he was concerned, this was not the time for stiff and stuffy Royal decorum. This was the pinnacle of all that had happened for David to that point. David remembered where he was coming from. David recalled the faithfulness of God in fulfilling the Word given to him that he would be King over Israel. David, having been through so much and endured so much knew how to give thanks. He knew how to throw a party. He knew how to have a great time before his God and the people God had given him to shepherd. The generosity of the king was displayed on that day because David wanted his kingdom to realise the significance of this moment – where the ark of the presence of God now resided with the King.
It’s unfortunate, then, that not everyone saw it the way David did. It’s indicative that when you celebrate with all your being, there will be observers who may not understand and not appreciate your extravagance. There are some religious circles that might find such exuberant praise off-putting and inappropriate especially for one of such standing.
In David’s case it was all the more tragic that one of his wives, ironically the daughter of his predecessor, turned out to be the chief critic of his antics. By unfortunate, I mean it was unfortunate for her to have such scorn for a man celebrating before God. People who have such a response to such expression don’t do themselves any favours by failing to consider why someone would celebrate before God in such a manner. It is as if God is not worthy of such whole-hearted praise. It is as if there is nothing that merits that degree of expression. Yet anyone who has experienced such deliverance, such elevation and such establishment by the Creator of the universe would truly understand and endorse David’s response. For anyone who cannot relate to that, it at least does you a favour to withhold criticism and seek to understand rather than getting all snobbish at the behaviour of others.
When it’s time to celebrate before God, go ahead and do it with everything you got.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden