Seriously Ridiculous:: Undignified

We started a new series in the Mid-High called “Seriously Ridiculous.”  And if we’re honest, there are a lot of ridiculous things in the Bible, right?  Take for example:

As Christians, we do some ridiculous things, too:

  • Wake up early on Sundays and put on nicer clothes
  • We pay money to work on someone else’s house
  • We talk to an invisible being

A lot of the things we study and do are ridiculous.  But a lot of the things we study and do are tremendously serious.  So over the next few weeks we’re going to look at some of these things in the Bible that are seriously ridiculous.

First up: David dancing in his undies before the ark of the Lord

The Ark: Why was it such a big deal?

Description: Just so we’re all on the same page, this is the Ark of the Covenant of God.  This is not the ark that Noah cruised on where the animals came in two by two (or “by two two” as Kinsleigh says).  This ark was a very, very holy object for the Israelites of the Old Testament.

Illustration: It’s a “box” or a “chest” and it was the central place of worship for Israel.  Unlike today where the believer is the central place of worship, in the OT, the tabernacle was, which is where the ark was.  The ark was where the presence of God dwelt among the people of Israel.  His presence literally rested on this holy piece of furniture.  You can think of it as the footstool of the throne of God.  The ark is where God was.  And since it was representative of God, it was the most holy place on earth.

Application: So, the ark had been captured but then dropped off at a house out in the sticks.  This is a big deal because the loss of the ark meant that the presence of God had departed.  So, we pick up the story with David being obedient to God and bringing the ark back to where it belonged.

David: What did he do?

Description: So we got the ark coming back and David kind of loses it…but in a good way.  He has a seriously ridiculous reaction to bringing the ark home:

2 Samuel 6.14 David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, (NIV)

David obeyed regardless of what anyone else thought. And his obedience set him free.  And in that freedom, he worshiped God in a seriously ridiculous way.

Illustration: I had a college roommate who stripped naked after a hole-in-one on Nintendo golf and ran around our front yard.  Some commentators think this is what David did, and I used to, but I don’t really see that anymore.  He may have, but what I see is that the Bible says David was in a linen ephod.  This is a simple apron; kind of like a night gown – you don’t wear it out unless you check the mail really early – kind of like underwear, but not – either way, for a king to wear something so simple is almost like being naked.  The kind of dance David was doing was a “whirling” dance.  So, if he’s wearing an apron and twirling, chances are pretty good that he may have exposed himself

Application: We need to look at the principle of David’s worship and not exactly mimic what he did.  You do that now, you get arrested.  Modest is hottest.  Always.  But the principle here is that David obeyed God and didn’t worry about what anyone else thought.  He worshiped God publically, passionately, and purely.  So if we rewind to where he said “I will become even more undignified than this,” this is what he’s talking about.  David, the King of Israel, dancing so hard that a few people may have seen more than they wanted to see is not only seriously ridiculous, but it’s undignified.  However, sinful men and women like us in the presence of Holy God is even more undignified.  It’s like David is saying “You think it’s strange for an earthly king to act this way?  It’s stranger still that our Holy Creator King allows us in His presence.  All my glory is NOTHING in the presence of God.”

David’s eyes were on the Lord.  But not everyone’s are.  Some people’s eyes are on everyone else and they just don’t get it when you obey God.  “When you’re really free, people who are not so free will have trouble with you being free.”

Michal: How do people respond?

Description: Here’s how David’s wife, Michal, responded:

2 Samuel  6.16 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. (NIV)

So she’s watching from a window as her husband, the King, is bringing the ark back to the people, and he is celebrating by dancing and jumping and singing and shouting and parading in worship of God.  But she looks at him and says, “That’s stupid.  How embarrassing.  What a fool.”

And in verse, 20, she lets David know it:

2 Samuel 6.20 When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and 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 came home with that “camp high” that you get after a summer at New Life Ranch or at Kanakuk.  And Michal meets him at the door with sarcasm.

Illustration: For me, this happened my Sophomore year of HS.  God got a hold of me and my friends didn’t get it.  I chose obedience and I got made fun of for it and I lost some friends because of it.  But my reaction was the same as David’s:

2 Samuel 6.21-22 I will celebrate before the LORD. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.

Application: Michal thought David was a fool for being excited and wearing an apron rather than acting regal in a kingly robe.  And you know what?  Our culture has a mold they expect Christians to fit in to as well.

  1. We can’t be passionate or else we’re labeled a fanatic.
  2. We can’t say “no” or else we’re a goody-goody.
  3. We can’t talk about sin or else we’re intolerant.
  4. We can’t call people to repent or else we’re judging them.
  5. We can’t pray at school because it’s offensive.
  6. We can’t be obedient or else we’re viewed as a radical.

But the very best proof of your love for the Lord is obedience…nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

You obey and don’t worry about everyone else.  Check out what God has to say about this:

Deuteronomy 32.25 Don’t you realize that I have my shelves
well stocked, locked behind iron doors?
I’m in charge of vengeance and payback,
just waiting for them to slip up;
And the day of their doom is just around the corner,
sudden and swift and sure. (MSG)

God says, “Vengeance is mine.”  (By the way, Michal was never able to have children after she criticized David’s obedience to God.)   So obey and don’t worry about the people around you.  David was seriously ridiculous and God honored that.  David’s eyes were on the Lord.  Michal’s eyes were on the people.

Where are yours?