Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 6:12-19
“Then it happened as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of her window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.” (2 Sam. 6:16 NASB)
The people in Yaounde, Cameroon celebrate the Lord with gusto. When I first attended one of their worship services I was amazed at the sheer joy they showed in their singing. It seemed impossible for them to stand perfectly still and sing. They clapped, shouted, twirled around, and swayed to the music. It was not done in a disorderly manner, nor was it disrespectful to the Lord. It reminded me of David’s experience when the ark of the Lord was brought back to Jerusalem. The Cameroonians did not show any inhibitions or negative emotions. To them celebrate really means celebrate. We see the same kind of enthusiasm in many of our African American churches today.
For other people, praise and worship are internal processes with little or no show of emotion. Songs are sung while standing or sitting without any body movement. They clap to certain songs and some will sing with uplifted hands, but not everyone partakes in the same manner. They are just as joyful, but worship in a silent manner. That may not be the way it is in all Caucasian churches, but it is what I have experienced in the churches I’ve attended over the past fifty years.
King David definitely fell into the first group. He showed his joy and praise by leaping and dancing before the Lord. He wasn’t deterred by the criticism of others. All that mattered to him was raising his voice and lifting up his heart to God. David didn’t mind making a fool of himself as long as God was being glorified. Michal didn’t like what she saw and held him in contempt. God was pleased and accepted David’s actions, but punished Michal by withholding children from her for the rest of her life. She paid a bitter price for her hatred and despite.
I thoroughly enjoyed worshipping with the African people in Cameroon. It is impossible to stand like a statue when all around you people are clapping and singing so joyfully to the Lord. You could see in their faces and body movements how much they loved the Lord and desired to celebrate him.
What kind of worshiper are you? Do you stand like a statue and sing with your lips barely moving, or do you vocalize with great joy and enthusiasm? It is not my place to pass judgment on what your method of worship might be, but I do believe that God wants us to celebrate and glorify him in our worship. If our worship does not have the Lord as the sole object of affection and devotion, then it is not really worship.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to worship you with joy knowing that you are worthy of my praise.