A Time to Dance

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To everything there is a season . . . a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

And that, knowing the time, that now it is
high time to awake out of sleep: for now is
our salvation nearer than when we believed.

Romans 1 3 : 1 1

Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest,
and arise from 'among] the dead, and Christ
shall give thee light. See then that ye walk
circumspectly, not as fools, but as
wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are
evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but
understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:14-14

Some time ago the following question was asked in England: "Is it sinful for a Christian to encourage dancing, or to take part in it when entertained by Christian people who practice it, arguing that it is a harmless recreation?" It would further seem that this subject is a perplexing one to young Christians in this day. Beloved young readers, are you willing to turn with me to the Word of God? Let us bear in mind that "whatsoever is not of faith is sin" Romans 14:23. And faith can only act on the will of God.

It may be said, "But do we not find dancing in the Scriptures?" Yes, that is true, we do. "Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for He bath triumphed gloriously." Exodus 15:20-21. This was the great joy of redemption from Egypt. Is it so when those called Christians in this day entertain their friends with dancing? Are their hearts filled with joy because God has redeemed them? Do they sing to the Lord because He has triumphed gloriously? Do they think of the Lord, or dare they name His holy name at the dance? No; they never dance the dance of Miriam.

David also "danced before the Lord with all his might." 2 Samuel 6:14. But why did he dance? It was because the ark was brought into the city of David with gladness. The restoration of this symbol of Jehovah's presence filled the heart of David with gladness, and thus in its dispensation was a time to dance. Have we ever been filled with higher and holier joy, because the enjoyed presence of the Lord Himself has really been restored wherever two or three are gathered to Him? Does not David condemn us? Honestly, dear young friends, do you believe you are invited to dance with all your might before the Lord? Or is it not really that you may make yourselves as happy as you can be in Cain's world, and forget God? Is God in all their thoughts when they invite you to dance? You will not find a dance in modern Babylon that answers to Miriam's or to David's.

Let us try another scripture. Israel had sinned exceedingly while Moses was away in the mount (Exodus 32). They had freely subscribed their gold and fallen into idolatry. They had really turned after demons. "And they said, These be thy gods, 0 Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." And they offered offerings; indeed, they imitated the worship of God. "And said, To-morrow is a feast to the LORD." Read the full account. "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." And in verses 17 to 20 we learn they played at dancing until they shouted again. Was this a time to dance? Was this faith, or sin? Which?

Now is not this an exact picture of Christendom—and of those very so-called Christians that invite you to sit down and eat and drink, and rise up and play at dancing? They have practically turned aside from the word of the Lord to the idolatry of paganism, and to the pagan festivals which they call feasts to the Lord. They sit down content in this world, to eat and to drink religiously, as many a one even takes the Lord's Supper. And then, as it was while Moses was away in the mount, so now, while Jesus, the once crucified, is away in heaven, they invite you to rise up and dance. Dear young souls, may God open your eyes.

But is there not a scripture which says there is a time to dance? There is; let us read it. "A time to mourn, and a time to dance." Ecclesiastes 3:4. The question then is this - "Is it now, is this the time to dance?"

If an ennemy invaded these shores, and if disloyal men betrayed her Majesty the Queen into their hands, and she was with the greatest possible cruelty and indignity banished from her dominions, would that be a time for loyal subjects to dance, or to mourn? When David was driven from his kingdom, did his loyal friend Mephibosheth dance? When the king returned, "Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came again in peace." 2 Samuel 19:24. What would David have thought of him if Mephibosheth had called his friends together to amuse themselves with play and dancing?

Dear young readers, do you profess to be loyal Christians—to belong to the King of glory, who for the present has been rejected and mocked, and with the utmost possible cruelty has been rejected by this world, by Jew and Gentile—yea, who has been put to the most cruel and shameful death, and who is still hated and rejected by this world? And is this the time to mourn His absence, or to dance for joy with that world that hates your Lord?

That long-rejected Lord will soon return "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power." 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9. That blessed Lord has told us, it shall be in that day as it was in the days of Noah and of Lot. Was it a time to dance when the angel had warned Lot? His daughters and sons-in-law may have been at an evening party having a harmless dance. Was that a time to dance? There was eating and drinking, and perhaps dancing; marrying and giving in marriage, when Noah had long warned the world of coming judgment; but the flood came at last. If it was not a time to dance then, is it now? A far greater judgment is at the very doors. Men did not believe it then, but it came. It will be so again.

Perhaps you may say, "Oh, but I am a Christian, and I expect the Lord to come first and take me." Do you look for the return of the Lord to take His Church? And do you really believe that all who have heard and rejected the gospel—your very friends, it may be—will be left behind for everlasting judgment; and can you amuse yourself and them with dancing? If you were sure the Lord would come tomorrow, would you spend tonight in dancing? Is not dancing a pleasure of that world lying in the wicked one? Has not God said in His Word, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15)? Oh, be not deceived; if you really are a Christian, then Jesus says, "You are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." Do not let the devil deceive you by telling you that you can have both the pleasures of the world now and heaven at last. Are we not baptized unto His death? Do dead men dance? We are to reckon ourselves dead with Christ and alive to God in Him.

Well, if it is not a time to dance now, will it ever be so? Yes, indeed, there will be a time to dance, even on this earth. Faith in the Word of God sees a blessed time beyond the darkness and the judgments about to be poured upon this poor guilty world. The ancient people of God to whom the promises were given, the children of Israel, shall be gathered to their own land. "Let Israel rejoice in Him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise His name in the dance: let them sing praises unto Him with the timbrel and harp." Psalm 149:2-3. "Praise Him with the timbrel and dance." Psalm 150:4. Oh what a change! The devil is the accepted god of this world now, and Jesus is rejected. It is a time to mourn. The Lord shall then be King in Zion. "For, behold. I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy." "Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her." "For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river." Read the context, Isaiah 65 and 66.

Yes, then will be the time to dance, for those who are spared to people the earth when Jesus, the Messiah, the King, shall reign in Zion. But notice the character of the dancing there. It is real joy in Christ, their King. It is with the heart filled with praise to Him. It is as if the body is thrilled with holy joy in the Lord, and expressed its joy in Him in the dance. Can you tell me where there is such dancing as this now? Is the name of Jesus ever named in the dance? Does the heart swell with praise to Him? There may be the mockery of mixing dancing with a form of family prayer, as there was around the golden calf.

In conclusion then, as dancing is not now in keeping with the time we live in (Jesus having been murdered and rejected), so it cannot be of faith, and "whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Is it possible for a Christian that is waiting for the Lord from heaven to be found dancing? We do not believe that the two things can exist together. May the Lord separate all that are His from this pleasure-loving world.

C. Stanley

More Information
Binding Tract
Language English
Number of Pages 6
Subject Practical Christian Living