Dancing for the Lord

What is dance?  What is dancing for the Lord?

Let’s take a look at some passages in the Bible that relate to “dancing” for the Lord.

1.  Exodus 15:20 “And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.”

Consider: The Israelites had just come out of bondage from Egypt and they had “timbrels” or tambourines.  Could they have danced even while in bondage?

2.  II Samuel 6:14 “Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.”

Consider: David was a man.  Men danced, too.  His wife, Michal, was disgusted with his dancing and was punished by God with barrenness. This most likely occurred because David never touched her again.

The word used here for “danced” does not refer to wild chaotic leaping, but to a choreographed dance that was characteristic of community joy in the presence of the Lord.   Because David was a King and a man after God’s own heart, this is why praise dancing is called “Davidic”.

3.  Psalm 149:3, Psalm 150:4 –  “Let them praise His name with timbrel and dance.”

4.  Jeremiah 31:4 “Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel!  You shall again be adorned with your tambourines, and shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice.”

Consider: Who is ‘virgin Israel’ in view of Romans 2:29-30;  Romans 11:11-24, Ephesians 2:11-21, Matthew 25:1-13.

Dancing was not just found in Old Testament times and teachings.  There are several teachings in the New Testament, too.

5.  Luke 15:25 “Now his elder son was in the field and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.” This is the parable of the Prodigal Son.  This is Yeshua/Jesus talking.

6.  Acts 6:5 “Prochorus was chosen to be a deacon.” A study of this man’s name in Greek reveals his ministry: (Pro) A leader of the (chorus) dance.

Consider:   This was in the New Testament church.  The  dance leader was a man.

7.  There are no prohibitions against dance in the Bible.  There are examples of dance taking place in a negative context, but in all of these instances it is be being misused either as a form of worship towards other gods or in drunken orgies.  We DO need to stay away from these forms of dance and worship.  There is a difference between dancing for the Lord and dancing for ourselves and our sensual desires.

8.  Let’s look at one specific word used throughout the Bible.

Rejoice:  The dictionary defines rejoice as “to be glad; be filled with joy.  In Aramaic, the language most commonly spoken in Israel during the time Jesus/Yeshua lived, rejoice meant “dance” and even more specific – “to turn about”.

Consider:  James 1:2  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” Replace joy with dance.   Should we “dance or turn about” when we face trials?  How would that make your point of view of the trial change?

Philippians 4:4  “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!”

Consider:  What is Paul saying?  Should we always be ready to dance?  or always be dancing?

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