The other thing I noticed (here’s the one thing) from the book of Nehemiah, is that Nehemiah instructs us not to dance in church. The advocates of shakin’ yer groove thang as part of corporate worship can offer only one justification: “David did it, and he told us in the Psalms to do it”. Well, Nehemiah (and Ezra) record that:
Ezra 3:10: the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD, according to the directions of David king of Israel.
(From Neh 12) And the chiefs of the Levites [did] praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, watch by watch…Then I brought the leaders of Judah up onto the wall and appointed two great choirs that gave thanks…and certain of the priests’ sons with trumpets…and his relatives…with the musical instruments of David the man of God. And Ezra the scribe went before them…The other choir of those who gave thanks went to the north…So both choirs of those who gave thanks stood in the house of God…and the priests…with trumpets… And the singers sang with Jezrahiah as their leader. And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away…And they performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did the singers and the gatekeepers, according to the command of David and his son Solomon. For long ago in the days of David and Asaph there were directors of the singers, and there were songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.
That’s a lot of instruction for worship. Today, we can nix the “great sacrifices” and “service of purification”, because Christ has fulfilled those for us. But that still leaves a lot of elements: singing, and musical instruments, and standing, and rejoicing, and Neh is full of examples of corporate confession and repentance (see ch 9-10).
But you won’t find any dancing in Nehemiah. Apparently the inspired Biblical author Nehemiah didn’t see dancing as part of David’s instructions for corporate worship.
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