Dancing David and C. S. Lewis

by | Aug 19, 2020 | Devotional

What gets you excited? I have to admit I don’t get excited about sports. As far as outward expressions of excitement over anything goes, I might smile or occasionally clap to fit in with everyone else. But do you remember how excited King David was when they were bringing the Ark of God—the Ark of the Covenant—to Jerusalem? David was so excited that God’s symbolic throne was coming into the religious center of Israel. He was excited about the Lord, and he responded by worshipping. He offered sacrifices. But what he’s particularly remembered for concerning this event is his dancing. Second Samuel 6:14 tells us, “David danced before the Lord with all his might.” (I’ve checked, and that Hebrew word for “dance” means “dance.”) This is excitement! This is enthusiasm over the Lord! King David was praising God. This dancing of his, foreign as it might sound to us, was a natural expression of his passion for the Lord. 

You might not be dancing for the Lord, but do you have at least an internal excitement for the Lord? Do you have a passion? This all connects with something C. S. Lewis said in a little book he wrote on the Psalms. He said, “The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express that same delight in God which made David dance.” His point is that our delight in God will be in direct proportion to our appetite for God. And he does such a great job of bringing out how the Psalms so wonderfully express this appetite, this thirst, this longing.

David tells of his singular seeking after dwelling in God’s presence and gazing upon His beauty. What are you seeking? If you were starved, you would do whatever you could to get food. If you were exhausted, you would do whatever you could to get rest. If we understood our need for God, we would be able to echo David’s words in Psalm 631:1, “O God, thou are my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” If the deepest longings we all have aren’t finding their fulfillment in God, what are you attempting to satisfy those longings with? For David, his longing was satisfied with the goodness of God’s house, the holy temple (65:4).

We don’t long for the temple, Israel’s place of worship. But does your soul long to worship God? Does your heart and flesh cry out for the living God (84:2)? If it doesn’t—if there is little desire for God, there will be little enthusiasm for God. There will be little excitement. Little passion. But if your desire is for the Lord, you will be glad and rejoice in Him (9:2). You will sing aloud. You will make a joyful noise (81:1).

If you don’t see this longing in your life, spend some time in the book of Psalms. It will show you how much you need God. It will show you how much you need God, and how much more He matters than anything else. And when you recognize how much you need Him in your life, you will develop an appetite, a thirst, and a longing for Him above all else. And I think at least some small part of you, deep inside, should wish we were clapping our hands, crashing loud cymbals, shouting, and dancing (47:1, 150:4, 5). 

Credit for inspiring this post is due to Lewis for his wonderful chapter “The Fair Beauty of the Lord” in his Reflections on the Psalms

Image Credit: David the Poet and King by Newell Dwight Hillis.

Brent Niedergall

Pastor, Grammarian, Runner

Brent Niedergall, MDiv, is Chief Editor at Positive Action for Christ in Whitakers, North Carolina. He’s gone to war in Afghanistan, felled towering trees, and parsed Greek verbs.


Brent Niedergall