Worship Life: The Singing and Dancing King
- 2009 18 Jul
“I will sing to the Lord because he has been so good to me.” Psalm 13:6
If an award were given for being the most human person in history (with all the good and bad that entails), David, son of Jesse, might well deserve the honor. Shepherd boy, great king. Champion, rebel leader, collaborator, commander-in-chief, civil warrior. Son, brother, friend, husband, father. Devout believer, great sinner. Capable of astonishing variations of emotion. Bold in acting; nimble in reacting. Enduring long.
Yet among all this variety, one lasting quality of David was his love of music. David first came to royal notice as “a talented harp player,” called in to soothe King Saul (I Samuel 16:18). Ironically, a ditty sung by women (“Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” I Samuel 18:7) almost doomed David by arousing the jealousy of Saul. Yet David later sang a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan—and another for the general Abner (2 Samuel 1:17-27; 3:33-34). Even in this short psalm, while David cried out to God from the depths of despair, he still found reason to sing to the Lord, “because he has been so good to me.”
David refused to squelch his musical inclinations when he became king. As the ark was brought to Jerusalem, “David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the Lord with all their might, singing songs and playing wall kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals” (2 Samuel 6:5). And later David gave orders for the establishment of a Levite choir and appointed men “to proclaim God’s messages to the accompaniment of harps, lyres, and cymbals” (I Chronicles 15:16; 25:1). David himself was responsible for a large portion of Israel’s hymnbook, the Psalms.
As the book of Psalms models, music has a power to inspire emotion and to express it. Music is among the fittest vehicles for communicating to and about God.
What song can you sing today to God? Like David, sing to the Lord because he has been so good to you.
I trust in your unfailing love, O God. I rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to you because you have been so good to me.
[I Respond]C.S. Lewis said, “The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight in God which made David dance.” As part of your personal worship, flip through the book of Psalms and find lines of praise that move you; then pray them—or better yet, sing them—to God.
Reprinted with permission from the iWORSHIP Daily Devotional Bible (NLT), copyright 2003, Integrity Publishers, a division of Integrity Media, Inc.