Summary: This sermon is about overcoming the the self controlling, self containment of worship to let oneself fully experiance a closeness of worship with God!
Michal, became embarrassed at King David’s dance. David responds “I’ll become even more undignified than this”. Michal is embarrassed by the manner in which her husband worshipped. Maybe we can ask ourselves: What Christian worship practices or styles of worship embarrass you or make you uncomfortable?
Dr. Len Sweet basically turns this around, he states “Think about someone who might be uncomfortable with your worship style”. An unbeliever! Someone from a younger generation! Are we so set in our ways of worship, or traditions, our solemness, that those very things can become a stumbling block to bringing a new believer to Christ?
We are not talking about not showing God proper dignity. We want to always be reverent for the Lord! No matter what the style of worship? King David does not call us to show God any less dignity, but rather to worship God with his whole self! With who he was! In other words, we have to risk ourselves to truly worship! The question then becomes “How much will you risk in worship?”
1. The Hewbre word “Qalal” (Hebrew #7403) is translated as “vile” “undignified” “contemptible”. But it can also be translated “foolish”. Perhaps that is the real question, will you be more foolish! The thing about "foolishness" is that it strips away the prideful self. It doesn't worry about what others are saying or thinking about you! I’ll be more foolish. 2 Cor 5:13 states “If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of Christ…” David is not saying don’t show God dignity, but let yourself go, and if you dance in foolishness, let it be in worship of God. In the following illustration, “T. Scott Gross, whose book "Positively Outrageous Service" is a key look at the future, tells a story of an Italian restaurant… whose only form of advertising was to randomly select a night each month where everyone ate free, without advance notice…” (SoulTsunami (ST), Dr. Len Sweet, p. 82)
2. “Qalal” can also be translated as “whet”, as in to be more whet. It also uses two other understandings which ,makes what David says very interesting. “Latish” (#3913) and “Shanan” (#8150) both speak about “sharpening”. I like that possible translation, maybe even better than foolish, or undignified! Perhaps then, David is saying I’ll be more sharpened. I’ll do whatever it takes to worship the Lord. I’ll be more dedicated. I’ll sharpen my worship skills. Ready to worship at any moment with my whole self.
3. An aspect that isn’t found in the definition of words, but in the picture of what takes place, is that David dances around, half naked in a loin cloth. A form of a diaper. A linen ephod. Another word for naked, might be “exposed”. I’ll be more exposed. Not in the sense of nakedness, but of who we really are. So often we worship but with walls up around us. But what if we knocked those walls down, and in worship we are exposed for who we really are. A friend of mine told me a story about her grandson. He was behind some kind of signboard on the playground doing something he wasn't suppossed to be doing. His teacher came and of course he was in trouble. In a discussion with his grandmother, of course he noted that "His teacher couldn't see what he was doing!" The Grandmother responded and said, "Yes, but God saw what you were doing." The little boy quickly asked his grandmother, “Do you think God told my teacher?”.
To be exposed it to let go of the masks we hide behind! To let go of the false clothing and pretentions that we wear. To let God see us for who and what we really are.
4. David was not embarrassed by his worship. But like Michal we are sometimes embarrassed by that which seems out of the normal. Perhaps then, david is saying, "I’ll be more un-embarrassed". One Scholar describes “David’s state of undress, and dancing” as “unsuitable to the gravity of the age or dignity of a king”. (JFB Commentary). But David cared less about how others viewed him, or what gossip might be told about him, but more about what might be said of him in the Heavenly Throne Room
In his book "A Table in the Presence", Lt. Carey Cash tells (p. 117-119) of how while hunkered down one night, Corporal Campbell walked over 1,000 meters to find him. The Corporal walked a thousand meters in a war zone. Lt. Cash asked "What are you doing?" Why? Why are you here? Then came the amazing response from Coporal Campbell, “To do church”. “Since it was Saturday Night, I was wondering if you and me, just the two of us could do church together?”
He was willing to risk it all, even death, just to worship!