Praise the Lord. That is how many of the psalms start. For God is in the praises of His people. God says, “Sing a new song to the Lord…Let them praise His name with dancing and make music with tambourines and harp. For the Lord takes delight in His people” (Psalm 149). Yes, dancing is a good response to our praises for our Lord. Psalm 150 says “Praise Him with tambourine and dancing.” I like that. Have you ever been in a worship service where people sang and danced? I know preachers who say that is not respectful. I respond with King David’s response to winning back the Ark of the Covenant. “David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might” (2 Samuel 6:14). The response from the people was song and dance along with him, except for his wife Michal. “And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart” (v.16). She didn’t get the significance of the moment; she was all about appearance and dignity. I wonder if this pharisaical response would come from me. I pray that I too would rejoice with those who rejoice.
In Exodus 15 is the beautiful “Song of Moses and Miriam.” She who was a prophetess and Aaron’s sister “took the tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing. Miriam sang to them” (Exodus 15:20). They rejoiced and sang and praised God for their delivery from slavery. However, soon their dancing turned back to grumbling. By the way it was their grumbling that brought the Lord’s wrath and death to this entire generation of Israelites except Caleb and Joshua.
God is always good and in Ecclesiastes Solomon says “there is a time for mourning and a time for dancing” (Ecclesiastes 3:4). Psalm 30 says “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent” (Psalm 30:11).
Dear friends, do you find joy in the Lord? Can you consider your trials “pure joy” as James admonishes? This is God’s desire that we be filled with the fruit of the Spirit that includes joy. I may not have great dance moves, but I love that King David, the father (predecessor) of our Savior and Lord danced in the streets with joy and singing. Dance on!