Expressions of Praise

Read 2 Samuel 6:12-16

There are different songs which when heard lead people to respond. Some songs generate a desire to clap your hands or tap your foot to the beat. Other songs may prompt a person to cry because of how the lyrics touch a person’s heart or maybe because they elicit a memory. Then there are those songs that move a person to start dancing. You are set in motion by the melodies and rhythms. Music can communicate emotions in ways which are seldom matched by many other aspects of our lives. Whether a song prompts you to join in the rhythm, sing along or dance, you are taken from the ordinary to the energized in a meaningful way.

The passage for today speaks of music, emotions, and responses. One of Israel’s greatest symbols of the presence of God, the Ark of the Covenant, was being hidden away in the household of Obed- Edom. King David decided it was time to bring the ark back to Jerusalem. He made a great fanfare with the procession bringing them to the city, even offering a sacrifice of thanks to God at the beginning of the journey. Dressed in a small amount of clothing, filled with great joy and being swept up in the trumpet sounds, David danced. His wife, Michal, disapproved of his dancing and behaviors. She began to hate David on that day.

How often people judge other people in regard to their expressions of joy to the Lord. Like Michal, people can make a determination of what are appropriate forms of expression of praise to God. Anything which goes outside the bounds of “appropriate” behavior causes a shunning and dislike of the demonstrator. Yet Scripture is full of all types of jubilant expressions in response to God. Dancing, singing, playing loud instruments, shouting, weeping, and removing clothing are all found as celebratory expressions in the Bible.

We should all take a lesson from David. When the Spirit moves us to respond to our Lord, we should do so with great enthusiasm. If others around us choose to express the joy given to them by God, we should not judge them or attempt to hinder them. Not all forms of expressions fit every person but it should be left to each person to respond as led. Instead of stifling praise to the Lord, let us support and encourage it in all forms.

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