Today’s passage can be hard to understand and interpret in the current #metoo toxic masculinity culture. Upon first reading, you may think that David just got called out by his wife for dancing naked before the Lord (and others). In fact, many preachers and Bible teachers have taught it this way without proper context. That’s because different Bible translations say in verse 20 that he was half-naked, exposed himself or was uncovered before the servants’ girls. My preferred translation (ESV) says “shamelessly uncovered”. So I really can’t blame those conclusions with this text which has led to many Christians justifying some pretty stupid and scandalous actions as long as it’s for the purpose of “honoring the Lord.”
But by the time you read that part, you forget that verses 14-15 mentions him wearing a linen ephod so he couldn’t have been completely naked or even in his underwear as many believe. Of course this linen ephod was considered inappropriate at that time but nothing of which is described today. Besides, the purpose of this story is not David dancing in his underwear (in which he didn’t) but instead, it’s asking if we have that much joy when singing and dancing to the Lord ourselves that we don’t care what others think? Do we feel like we have so much freedom in Him, celebrating the victory He gives us in the gospel, that we can sing without care?
That’s the point of these verses. Not “what was David wearing?” But “What was David thinking?” And the answer to that is not controversial; he was thinking “I love the Lord and will unashamedly sing and praise Him out of the overflow of my heart and I don’t care who sees me and how embarrassing it may be.” Do you praise the Lord like that?
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor