Formations lesson for Sept. 11: The Adult David - Dancing before the Lord : Friday, Aug. 26, 2005
August 26 2005 by Haven Parrott

Formations lesson for Sept. 11: The Adult David - Dancing before the Lord : Friday, Aug. 26, 2005
Friday, Aug. 26, 2005

Formations lesson for Sept. 11: The Adult David - Dancing before the Lord

By Haven Parrott
Focal passage: 2 Samuel 6:1-23

Unfathomable Paradox

For six weeks this summer, our family expanded to include another "D" boy. Dane, Drew, Dylan and Dalton, the regulars around here, were joined by Dima, a seventeen-year-old from Belarus with whom we've had a relationship since 1997 through an organization called Global Children Outreach.

Dima, of course, speaks Belarusian. The Parrotts, of course, do not. For many years, however, Dima has studied the English language at his school in Belarus. English taught by Belarusian's, that is, or by Europeans who know nothing of the southern drawl, ya'll.

Dima is also hearing impaired, which only contributes to the communication confusion. Conversing consists of few words and much gesturing. We're able to understand only a little of Dima's broken, syntax-out-of-whack English but, surprisingly, Dima understands most of our down-south speech.

Fact is, Dima's level of English-language comprehension is quite high, far surpassing his ability to verbalize a response. I'm told this is not uncommon. Many who visit foreign countries, having only a classroom knowledge of the language, find themselves in this predicament of being able to understand what they hear but unable to talk about it.

I can relate, because that's how it is with the Spirit and me sometimes. My soul's capacity for understanding what He Scripture-whispers concerning the sovereignty of God far exceeds my mouth's ability to express what I've heard.

I cannot explain how His sovereign predetermination and my willing participation work together, yet somehow my soul understands, and is at peace with, the paradox perfectly framed by Philippians 2:12-13: "work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."

Undignified Praise

David was really good with words. He gave expression to the Spirit's whispers in beautiful, poetic psalms that still ring bells buried in the deepest parts of human hearts. Yet, perhaps the reason David danced down the streets of Jerusalem was because words alone were inadequate for communicating the depths of what his soul understood about God's sovereignty and the privilege of participation.

The journey from the sheepfolds of Bethlehem to the stronghold of Jerusalem had been all God's doing, accomplished through His obedient servant. God alone had paved his path from the pasture to the palace, and David knew it. God's unwavering commitment to His own glory fueled His above-it-all, under-it-all, through-it-all determination to glorify the anointed, heart-like-His shepherd and climaxed in David's escorting the Ark of the Covenant, the symbolic power and presence of God Himself enthroned on a box of wood, into the new capital.

The holy procession was the culmination of the mysterious mixing of God's sovereignty and David's obedience, something so deep even David could not confine it to mere words. So he danced with all his might. Clothed with humility, and little else, the King of Israel abandoned himself in undignified, full-bodied worship. It was Israel's finest hour, and David's purest praise.

A thousand years or so later, another holy procession wound through the streets of Israel's capital, the climax of yet another journey, one that had also begun in Bethlehem. And once again, it was all God's doing through His obedient Servant. But there was no Ark this time. This time the power and presence of God Himself rested not on a wooden box, but on a wooden beam.

The scantily clad, humiliated Shepherd-King abandoned Himself to full-bodied, undignified worship as He jerked and gestured and danced with death down the streets of David's city. Unlike His ancestor, Jesus did not dance because He had no words to explain the mysterious mixing of the sovereignty of God and the Servant's obedience. The Son of David danced because He was the Word, the final Word, on that subject. It was the world's finest hour, and the purest sacrifice of praise the world has known.

And so we who have His life in our hearts have complete confidence that "He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it" (Phil. 1:6), and one day, according to the mystery of His sovereign determination and our willing participation, we too will find ourselves dancing down the streets of the New Jerusalem.

8/26/2005 12:00:00 AM by Haven Parrott | with 0 comments

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