Summary: To move the congregation into a closer, more intimate, more passionate relationship with our LORD.
Do you like to dance? I don’t mean going to a night club because I know most of us are too saved, too sanctified and too Holy Ghost filled to ever step foot in a night club again. I am just asking do you like to dance? Do you ever dance at home when no one is around? Have you ever been in a great mood and one of your favorite songs comes on the radio as you are driving and before you know it your head is moving and your shoulders are swaying to the beat.
Most people like to dance sometimes! So it never ceases to amaze me that with few exceptions we never dance in church particularly in United Methodist Churches. When it is biblical to dance before the LORD with joy!
So it is my assignment today to move you into a closer, more intimate, more passionate relationship with our LORD. So turn to your neighbor, smile at them and ask them if they have ever danced? Turn to your other neighbor don’t forget to smile and ask them, well; Who’s your dance partner? Now give yourself a big hug and say I will dance before the LORD with joy! I will dance before the LORD with joy!
In both of our text today there is some dancing going on. David danced before the LORD as the ark of God was being brought to Jerusalem. The daughter of Herodias danced before her stepfather Herod and his dinner guest. David’s dance was a holy dance and well …. Herodias’ daughter’s dance was less than holy. A lot less than holy!
The Scriptures teach us that King David was a man after God’s own heart. Despite his many faults and he did have many, what David wanted to do most in life was to please God. David was not a perfect man but he was a passionate man. He was passionate as he played the harp to soothe King Saul’s temperament whenever an evil spirit plagued Saul. He was passionate about preserving the honor of God and Israel when he slew the Philistine Giant Goliath. He was passionate in his devotion to his friend Jonathan, Saul’s son and even though Saul tried to kill David he remained passionate about honoring Saul as King of Israel. David was indeed a passionate man. He was passionate on the battlefield as he slew tens of thousands of the Philistine army. David was a passionate poet as he wrote over 100 psalms praising God in the good times and lamenting the bad times but through it all David honored God for being God.
So as we turn to this morning’s text we find that King David is not only passionate in song but he is a passionate dancer as well. Verse 14 in II Samuel 6 says David danced before the Lord with all his might. Not only is David dancing with passion he is dancing out of his clothes. He dances until he is down to his underwear. The Bible says David danced out of his fine linen clothes until he was only girded with a linen ephod. David and most of Israel was excited because the ark of the LORD had finally been brought home to Jerusalem. The ark of the LORD was significant because it represented the very presence of God on earth.
The ark of the Lord had been away from the heart of Israel, in Kirjathjearim for twenty years. That is a long time to be in a spiritual drought. Twenty years is a long time to have the presence of the LORD away from your faith community. Strange things happen to your leaders and the people when God’s presence is not felt. Just ask King Saul and he will tell you that when you don’t have God to guide you, you will go left when you were suppose to go right. When God’s not around you will lose patience and you will lose focus. When you don’t feel God’s presence you begin to fear the people more than you fear God and you will make bad decisions. When God is no longer in your camp you will lose battles that you use to win with little to no effort.
David a man after God’s own heart knew the value of the ark of the LORD. David knew the value of God’s presence. So shortly after David becomes King he goes to get the ark of the LORD and as he leads the processional of Israelites into Jerusalem he dances passionately as they have a Holy Ghost party!
King Herod on the other hand is no King David. King Herod married Herodias his brother’s wife and in our text today we find in Mark 6 that he is so enamored, he is so pleased with his stepdaughter’s dance that he promises to give her anything up to half his kingdom. Well his stepdaughter does not ask for money, she does not ask for land or even power in King Herod’s court. After consulting with her mother she ask for the very head of John the Baptist on a plate because Herodias had a grudge against John and wanted to kill him.