Saturday, April 19, 2014

David: we would have kicked him out of church

When David finally brought the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem, he did so with great fanfare. He offered sacrifices during and after the process, was accompanied by a host of people shouting and playing trumpets and danced in an ephod - a sort of one piece linen tunic. He finished the day blessing the people and distributing food in the name of the Lord. It was quite the celebration.

Three sets of onlookers were present. David's wife Michal refers to the slave girls who were watching; no other comment is made about them. Michal herself was watching and had a very negative reaction. She snubbed the worship of David. It was unorthodox and embarrassing. When she confronted David with her cutting remarks about it, he responded vehemently that the worship was never intended for her pleasure but only for the Lord's.

This brings the last onlooker into the conversation - the Lord. He explained that he had not ordered a temple to be built and that David was not the person qualified to build it. Despite both of those objections, he blessed David's intent. He lavished promises onto the one who had gone beyond what was commanded and who had humiliated himself publicly in the Lord's name. Not only that, but the Father apparently closed the womb of Michal (6:23). Childlessness was reason for a loss of face or shame in her day. Michal intended to shame David for his public worship but the Lord shamed Michal for her private thoughts.

David would not fit into most of the churches with which I have been associated. He committed two infractions that fly in the face of most conservative Christians - he publicly worshiped in humiliating ways and went well beyond what was commanded in the first place (orthodoxy). Yet in both cases, he was blessed while those who looked down upon his actions were not. This leads me to question myself.

Do I respond more like David or like Michal when it comes to worship? What do I privately think about those who go beyond orthodoxy? How do I view those who would worship publicly in ways that I consider humiliating?

Honestly, its probably good I was not there that day.

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