Happy Iranians Danced, Got Arrested, And Taught Me Something About Joy In The Lord

A group of young Iranians posted a video of themselves dancing to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”. You can see they captured the spirit of the song (be sure to catch the outtakes in the credits at the end!):

Then they got arrested.

Offending Public Morals

What crime did these happy young Persians commit? Vulgarity and offending public morals according to the local Iranian police chief cited in this NBC report.

It made me think of another time someone in the Middle East was told their dancing was immoral, offensive and vulgar:

Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.

When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!” (2 Samuel 6:14-16, 20.)

If David hadn’t been the king, Micah might have convinced the palace guards that he should be arrested too. But David, as king, was setting an example of joy before the Lord for all God’s people:

 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” (2 Samuel 6:21-22.)

Music and dance are blessings from God and can be an expression of our happiness as we enjoy the world he has placed us in. And as David showed, they are a wonderful way to express our joy and thanks for God’s grace in our lives.

Let’s be happy about that.


A recent report stated the dancers are now out of custody after the police chief forced them to “repent” on television. The video’s director has not yet been released.

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2 Responses to Happy Iranians Danced, Got Arrested, And Taught Me Something About Joy In The Lord

  1. Jeannie says:

    I liked the Iranian President’s response: “Happiness is our people’s right. We shouldn’t be too hard on behaviors caused by joy.” That video was the total opposite of vulgar and immoral!

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