I have been making my way through the Psalms in my morning devotions for about a year and a half.
This morning I arrived at Psalm 149. In verse 3 it says, "Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre." Praising the Lord with dancing was a curious thought to me. Now I am no dancer. I have two left feet when it comes to dancing. I feel rather uncomfortable when on the rare occasions I have danced. But here is a command to praise God with dancing. This is not the only time we are told this. In Psalm 150:4, it says, " Praise Him with tambourine and dance." There are two examples of praising God with dancing. In Exodus 15:20, Miriam and the women of Israel praised God with tambourine, dancing and singing for defeating the Egyptians and saving His people Israel through the Red Sea. In 2 Samuel 6:14, David "danced before the Lord with all his might' when the ark of the covenant was brought to Jerusalem. On these two occasions, people danced because they were filled with joy and thankfulness due to God's love, mercy, faithfulness and saving power. Now to go back to Psalm 149 where we are told the reason we should praise God with dancing. "For the Lord takes pleasure in His people, He adorns the humble with salvation" verse 4. We should praise the Lord with music and dancing because in His love He has chosen to give us salvation. So in our lives of worship, there are times when praising God with dancing is good and proper. There should be times when we are so filled with adoration to our Savior and Lord that singing and music won't be enough. We'll need to express that joy with the entire body. Maybe it will be when we first find grace and forgiveness. Maybe it will be at the conversion of someone. Maybe it will be after an answer to prayer. Or maybe it will be after a fresh sight of the glory of God. Have you ever had times when you wanted to dance before the Lord or when you did?
Now this doesn't mean that all forms of dancing are good and to be used to worship. Many forms are to be avoided. But there is a form that is good and proper, otherwise God would not give a command to praise Him with dancing. I shouldn't be surprised to find that in the new heavens and earth, we will often praise God with dancing. God is worthy to be praised with every fiber of our being. So let's begin here on earth with singing, dancing, and making music, knowing we shall do this all the better in glory.