And David danced before the LORD with all his might…And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart. (2 Samuel 6:14, 16).
David was approximately 40 years old when the ark of the LORD was brought into the city of David. In the prime of his life, David was probably in excellent physical condition and his body would have been muscular and tanned from years on the battlefield. The image of David leaping and dancing makes me think of a ballet where the male lead dances with not only physical strength, but graceful movement to the music. Wearing only a linen undergarment, David’s dance before the LORD would have been a spectacular sight.
The problem Michal had with David dancing in public was he wasn’t acting like a king. Michal was used to her father’s prideful display of pomp and circumstance. King Saul loved to make public animal sacrifices in order to make himself appear righteous and he wanted the people to view him as a valiant warrior, not a servant of God. In many ways, David and Saul were opposites. The difference was obvious when Michal let David know she despised him because of his unrestrained, public worship.
David described his worship as play when he said, “therefore will I play before the LORD” (2 Samuel 6:21). The word translated play, sâchaq (saw – khak´) means to laugh (7832). David was having a good time. He did not let his position as king of Israel stop him from being the man he truly was, a lover of God and role model of extreme worship.