My favorite person in the bible, aside from Jesus, is David because of his versatility. A shepherd, king, warrior, writer of many of the Psalms, and true worshiper, David was a man after God’s heart in each role he took on. While we know that he was not a perfect man, having committed both adultery and murder, I admire David’s intimate prayers with the Lord and him seeking out the Lord’s direction in his decision making. But what would David’s character look like had he sought self-glorification and affirmation from man? It would be a world of a difference, indeed.
When David danced before the Lord with all his might (2 Samuel 6:14) he was not performing for an audience, but exuding the joy that came from his relationship with God, who had appointed him to be ruler over Israel. King David didn’t mind being “undignified” in his praise, as he told his predecessor’s daughter, Michal, who frowned on his dancing. As an act of humility and honor towards God who had promoted the meek shepherd boy to royalty, David unapologetically told Michal that his praise was “before the Lord, who chose me, rather than your father or anyone from his house.” Knowing God’s divine hand over his life he said “I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.”
What if he responded to Michal with shame, regret or apologizing for going overboard in his dance? Or, what if Michal had praised David’s dance, but he responded to her or inwardly in a way that focused on his talent rather than what God blessed him with to edify others and bring glory to His name? That would be a David that cared more about how people perceived him. I’m so glad that David demonstrated authentic, unbridled praise, which serves as an example for all believers, especially those that God has gifted with music talents.
As a singer who has served on worship teams and choirs, I know how easy it is to get preoccupied with music technicalities rather than singing “in spirit and in truth” when preparing to lead worship service. But just as we prepare musically, our minds should be spiritually equipped to usher in God’s presence. Our lives too are our worship, and we should walk as reflections of Him. For the most important thing is to give God the glory and honor that he deserves. After all, as Christians, we are all called to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord,” (Psalms 100:1). It is more important for our heart to be authentic in worship, than for us to sing or play remarkably without anointing.
So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.”One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.” Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul. David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.” Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him. (1 Samuel 16-23)
David’s authentic praise from the heart that celebrates God’s goodness, is what we aim for as believers. I love this praise that is unconcerned about what others think. This praise rejoices over the triumphs that have become our personal testimonies. This praise sings Hallelujah during, and in spite of the storms that exist because we know that through His power we will overcome them. This praise comes most authentically when we study the Word of God and come to know His true character, as David did.