“My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being!” David’s songs have become the songs of the faithful for many generations beyond his days as the king of Israel. The Lord used him to begin a whole new era of musical worship. It was during his reign that singing and the playing of instruments began to have a more prominent role as God prepared Israel to grow from the tabernacle worship of Moses to the new life of adoration in a temple building in Jerusalem under David’s son, Solomon.
The worship of God in that great structure would one day give way to a new era of devotion. The Spirit of God would dwell within the people of the church. They would be the temple, and Jesus, a descendant of David, would be the Cornerstone. In this future phase of worship, the praise of God would go far beyond the borders of Israel. “I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations.”
The present experience of worship in gatherings all over the earth will not be the final period in the story of the praise of God. The Lord God Almighty who created and sustains the heavens and the earth will one day bring about a new creation where the entire environment will be His temple. The worship of God in the present heavens will come down upon the earth and bring a full renewal. “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” In that day the Lord’s people will be delivered from every adversary.
The history of Old Testament Israel was a part of a great story that would one day end in the renewal of the entire creation. During the days of David, the Lord made known His special covenant love for the tribes of Israel. In particular, He called the tribe of Judah, David’s tribe, His “scepter.” The surrounding territories—places like Edom, Moab, and Philistia—were not His covenant lands, though He had a plan that included the entire earth. It would be from Judah that the Deliverer would come who would be the eternal King.
In David’s time, the people of God needed to know that the Lord would be with them to bring them victory over the Edomites and the other people groups who sought the destruction of Israel. We are also waging a war, but as the apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 6:12, “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Whether the Lord’s people face the swords of the descendants of Esau or the flaming arrows of Satan as the gospel goes forth to the nations, our confidence is this: “With God we shall do valiantly; it is He who will tread down our foes.” Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, will save us. We will worship with all that we have and all that we are.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Great God, Your special commitment to Your people passes all our understanding. Your promises are absolutely sure. Your very being is everlasting and beyond all measure. You will not treat the world in the same way as You do Your church. Help us now, for dangerous enemies are near. You will give us victory over even the most powerful adversaries. You will give us deliverance and peace.