2 Samuel 6:16-23
16 As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart.
17 And they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.
18 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts
19 and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house.
20 And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, "How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants, female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!"
21 And David said to Michal, "It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will make merry before the Lord.
22 I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor."
23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.
We’ve all seen those guys at the football games who have removed their shirts only to reveal chests painted with team symbols and colors. The camera seems to focus regularly throughout the game on these guys and they are rabidly cheering and letting the whole world know of their support for their favorite sports icon. Or think about those girls (and sometimes women) standing in line at a concert or outside of a movie theater screaming and crying over the latest heartthrob from Hollywood. For the sports fan or the star-struck, the opinion of those around them doesn’t matter too much. Their admiration goes to the core. This is devotion.
The picture we see of King David today is similar to that of one of those adoring fans. He has stripped to his underwear and is literally dancing before the Ark of the Lord. His devotion goes to the core and he doesn’t care who knows it. He is performing for an audience of One – His Lord and God. The people around him are merely there and not really a consideration. For me, this story has always begged the question of my own public worship practices and just how devoted am I to the Lord of the Universe. Would I be willing to go all in like David did without regard for the opinions of those around me? Well, probably not. While I’m not suggesting we all dance around like a fan at a football game during Sunday morning worship, I do think it begs the question a little bit about our devotion levels and how we express them.
What God is looking for, I believe, is authenticity in our worship. For David, removing his clothes and putting on a public display of devotion was inside of his personality and was the right thing for him. Since I would never paint my face for a sporting event, or scream and cry for a movie star, I guess that should I suddenly do those things in worship it would not be true to who I am. With God, it is always a heart issue. Is what I feel in my heart for God being displayed in my worship, without regard for the opinion of others? If the answer is yes, then I think maybe I’m okay. Could we all be a little more devoted to God and little less concerned about the thoughts of others about us? Probably.