Praising God In The Dance
By Henry Morris
“Let them praise His name in the dance: let them sing praises unto Him with the timbrel and harp” (Psalm 149:3).
Although conservative Christians have long considered dancing to be a questionable form of amusement and recreation, it is obvious from such references as the above that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it. Note Psalm 150:4: “Praise Him with the timbrel and dance,” and other Old Testament references to dancing in a favorable sense (Exodus 15:20; Psalm 30:11; etc.). In the New Testament, the parable of the prodigal son also speaks of dancing in a good light, noting that the son’s homecoming was joyfully celebrated with “music and dancing” (Luke 15:25). Usually dancing in Biblical times was an expression of either joy or worship.
On the other hand, there is another reference in the Old Testament which may be more relevant to modern Christian attitudes toward dancing. When Aaron made the golden calf and the Israelites proceeded to worship this Satanic idol while Moses was on the mount receiving God’s ten commandments, they “rose up to play” (Exodus 32:6), and Moses soon found them shouting and singing and dancing (Exodus 32:17–19) and even “saw that the people were naked” (Exodus 32:25). The commentary in the New Testament suggests that this revelry led to widespread fornication (I Corinthians 10:8). The gospels also tell of the sensuous dancing of Herodias’ daughter Salome, which so enthralled King Herod that he was willing to behead John the Baptist to please her (Matthew 14:6–11).
Thus, while dancing can, if properly motivated and Biblically controlled, be an appropriate medium for showing joy and even godly worship, it can also become an outlet for carnal sensuality and even criminality. Unfortunately, most modern dancing seems more closely related to the latter than the former, and Christians must continue to be cautious. HMM
From the Daily Devotional Guide, Days of Praise, a ministry of The Institute
of Creation Reasearch.
For information, write: ICR, Box 2667, El Cajon, California 92021; or call: (619) 448-0900.