I’m a little bit excited today! Our younger daughter’s on spring break at her high school this week, and she and I are flying to Florida to visit the college her older sister attends. We’re knocking out a college visit and time with my older daughter in one trip! I am praying that the weather will be nicer than predicted, but we’ll have a great time either way.
As we continue our focus on praising God this month, I thought we’d see what we could learn about worship from the man who wrote many of the Psalms. Last week we pulled some simple verses from Psalms to inspire our praise life, and there are so many more passages in that book that express praise to God.
David is a well-known Bible character. We know that he’s called a “man after God’s own heart.” [Acts 13:22] We also know that, just like us, he had times when he struggled with sin. I think there’s a lot to learn from the way he offered praise and worship to God.
1.David worshiped with a right view of himself and a right view of God.
Let me set the stage. King David goes to prophet Nathan and says that he wants to build a house for the Lord. That night, the Lord speaks to Nathan. His message for David is that David’s seed will build God a house and God will establish David’s kingdom and throne forever.
Here’s David’s response when he gets the message from Nathan in 2 Samuel 7:18-22. [I know this is a long passage, but it’s so good!]
“Then went king David in, and sat before the Lord, and he said, Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come.
And is this the manner of man, O Lord God? And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord God, knowest thy servant. For thy word’s sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them.
Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.“
In humility, David acknowledged that he’d done nothing to be worthy of this great honor that God was bestowing on him. He saw God as He is, the great and only true God.
May we come to worship God in true humility. It is only because of God’s love and grace that we are even able to come into His presence. Our God is worthy of all our worship and praise.
2. David worshiped by recounting God’s faithfulness.
Here’s where we find David at the beginning of 2 Samuel 22.
“And David spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul:“
The next fifty verses of this chapter are David recalling different times when he’s been in a hard place, but God always delivered him. Here are a couple of examples.
“When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;” [Verses 5-6]
In verses 17-18, he says that God “…sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters; He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me.“
In verse 50, David proclaims, “Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.“
We’ve all seen God’s deliverance in our lives many times. Not only do we offer our praise to God when we recount His past goodness and faithfulness, but we also encourage our own hearts.
3. David worshiped with a desire for God to direct his life.
“Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.” ~Psalm 25:4-5
In Psalm 143:8, he says, “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.“
David wanted God’s guidance and direction. I’m afraid at times that my perspective is, “God, here’s what I want to do, so please bless it.” Instead, let’s worship with an attitude of openness to how God might direct us.
4. David worshiped God by forsaking known sin in his life.
David wanted a heart that was pure before God.
“For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.” ~Psalm 25:11
We’re probably all familiar with Psalm 51, written after his sin with Bathsheeba.
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” [Verses 1-2]
If we want our worship to be acceptable to God, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us any sin in our lives. As He does, we have to be willing to take the next step and repent.
5. David worshiped God by honestly expressing his feelings.
“How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?” ~Psalm 13:1-2
God already knows how we’re feeling. It’s okay to pour our hearts out to Him, to let Him know that we’re hurting or sad or angry. And, it may take time, but if we’ll let Him, He can fill our hearts with hope. That’s where David got to when he ended that Psalm. He found hope.
“But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.” [Verses 5-6]
May we learn to worship God in these and other ways as we grow in our walk with Him!
- Before You Go Ahead, Turn Around and See
- The Lesson of the Magnifying Glass: How We Can Glorify God
- 5 Unexpected “gods” We Might Be Worshiping Today
I hope you have a great trip, visiting your daughter and checking out colleges! David really did know how to worship the Lord, didn’t he? There’s a lot we can learn from him!
Thanks, Nikki! We did have a wonderful visit!!
In the Bible study book I’m currently using, the author has several chapters on the prayer lives of different Bible characters. I’m currently on Daniel, and it’s been so encouraging to see the wisdom and understanding he gained as he sought God in prayer.
Have a great week!
I know it was almost a month ago now, but I’m so glad you got that double-duty trip with *both* your girls involved!!!
I’ve always identified with David’s prayer style – crying out in open anguish when it was real, not hiding anything from God under the guise of formality, and on the flipside, just praising His wonders when randomly awestruck.
I love how you describe David’s prayer style so accurately!!