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When I think of wholehearted worship, the first person that comes to my mind is King David. The story begins in 2 Samuel 6:12-15. Now it was told King David, saying, “The LORD has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness. And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.”

A word of clarification here is in order regarding this passage. Many readers would suggest that David was immodestly exposing himself publicly. It is simply not true! An ephod was a priestly garment worn over a simple robe. David had removed his kingly attire of imperial purple and was now dressed in humble clothing giving him the freedom of movement for dancing.

David understood that bringing the ark of the Lord into the city was to bring the very presence and blessing of God! Out of the fullness of his heart he wanted to worship the Lord extravagantly. He was not concerned for his kingly position. He was not self-conscious or anxious about what others might think or say. There was no containing the joy and excitement of this momentous occasion!

The Hebrew word רכָּר is karar (3769), meaning to whirl, dance, dancing. What a spectacle! King David in humility and reverence is leaping, whirling, and dancing before the Lord with wholehearted abandon. It was not without ridicule. “Now as the ark of the LORD came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.” (2 Samuel 6:16)

May I be honest with you? I have struggled for years with being self-conscious, concerned about what others might think or say. I am reminded of the words of Jesus when he said to his disciples, “…the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41). In my spirit, I want to join David but too many times my flesh wins out and I settle for mediocrity. I know it is my pride that hinders me and I pray that God will give me the courage to humble myself to be wholehearted. I envy David; I want to come to that place where there is full-uninhibited expression of my love for God!

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