Psalm 148, 2 Samuel 6:12–22, Matthew 6:1–8
Do or do not before others?
David danced in all his power during a massive 10 mile parade, taking the Ark from Obed-edom’s land to Jerusalem. He was the king. There were many sacrifices happening. There were all the musicians, followers and soldiers that would have been a part of this. What a spectacle that must have been! We see that the Bible specifically says that David was dancing before the Lord.
His first wife, Micah, watched the parade from the city. His disgraceful behavior (from her perspective) tainted her views of David, and forever destroyed their relationship. There is a strong sense that she feels that a “royal” person (especially the king) should act more dignified before the people (and this would have political ramifications with any so-called nobility or courtiers). David’s response is classic. He’s okay being undignified before God, because the people will recognize his “poor” behavior for what it is…worship of God. It would seem he was right.
Jesus, on the other hand, was dealing with something that superficially the same. The rich and powerful trumpeted their successes, power, wealth, and pretend generosity. The people got on board and praised them for it all. The differences are heart deep. The rich and powerful really didn’t care as much about God, as they did about the wagging tongues of people. They cared about their power and influence, and what they could do with it. The people did what they did to survive culturally, socially, financially, and live. There was no love or respect toward the rich and powerful.
Often the words of Jesus are spoken to chide people from taking false pride and putting it on display. As Jesus said, that is their reward, with the implication being that they get the reward in this life, and there will be no reward for them in next. Yet, it is not bad to take pride in public actions. If Generations Community Church were to help a working mother put a down payment on a house of her own, yes, it would be good to be public about it, but not to brag on it, or expect a reward for it. Now, notice that this applies to the Framily, not to the individual. That would be a different story, maybe. Taking this working mother story further, it would be dishonoring of the woman to brag on the story, for then it becomes more about Generations than the reconciliation of a woman.
1) How does one praise and parade in front of God, publically, without being seen as one seeking the adoration of people?
2) While you may not seem rich and powerful, how do behave like those like Michal, and like those that Jesus spoke against?
3) Would you be willing to dance like a crazy person (before God) down the middle of Main Street?