King David was a mighty warrior, a popular leader, a talented musician and a prolific hymn writer. He was also a sinner, whose adultery with Bathsheba resulted in betrayal, murder, humiliation and the death of their child. When his sin was revealed to him by the prophet Nathan, David realized that although he had sinned against Bathsheba, Uriah and Israel, he confessed, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2nd Samuel 12:13).
But God, who had considered David to be a man after his own heart, (1st Samuel 13:14), took away the punishment for David’s sin (which should have been death) and forgave him. From that time on, David loved the Lord and worshipped Him fervently, reverently, humbly and even with great enthusiasm — years after the death of Saul. Years after conquering the nations surrounding Israel, David brought the ark of God back to Jerusalem. (Read about the ark’s return in 2nd Samuel 6.)
When the ark entered Jerusalem, David ordered those who carried it to stop so he could offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Then he stripped himself of his outer garments and “danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart,” (2nd Samuel 6:14-16).
David continued his worship. The ark was put in place. David sacrificed more burnt offerings. He blessed the people in the name of God, giving bread, dates and raisins to each and every person worshiping with him. Then he returned to his home to give blessings to his household.
But Michal was waiting for him. Her voice must have dripped with sarcasm when she said: “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!” David told Michal that his disrobed dancing was done in honor of the Lord, in celebration and worship. David knew that his style of worshiping would continue to embarrass Michal. He said, “I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.” Michal was barren after this, and her relationship with David was destroyed.
Michal disapproved. David worshiped.
Michal criticized. David worshiped.
Michal judged. David worshiped.
Michal complained. David worshiped.
Michal ridiculed. David worshiped.
So, the next time something happens in your worship service that makes you feel uncomfortable, or a song is sung in a tempo or style you don’t like, or those around you raise their hands too high (or they don’t raise their hands at all), or the prayers and sermons go on too long, remember Michal’s fate. Remember David’s worship. Remember that worship never has been and never will be about us.
Worship is all about God.
Verna Davis, speaker and writer, maybe reached at