David is the ultimate 'renaissance man' of ancient times - maybe even current times. Shepherd boy. Harpist. Poet. Songwriter. Lion killer. Bear killer. Giant Killer. Warrior. Leader. King. Smart. Handsome. Brave. Man after God's own heart. Adulterer. Murderer. Broken. Humble. Undignified worshiper. We would be hard-pressed to find someone to match that description or who we equally relate with and admire. I have a particular favorite touch point with him upon discovering he had the same 'aha' moment that my 'Worship is Life' journey has shown me.
It has to do with the two accounts of David bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. As worshipers and worship leaders the most common focus is David's example of an unbridled, undignified, all in response. His example is often used as the gold standard in challenging ourselves and others in our response of worship.
A few years ago, as I was studying these two accounts, it jumped off the pages that David discovered the same truth about God's pattern of relationship. Once you discover the pattern you wonder how you never saw it before. But like anything else, at some point you always learn something for the first time. I wish somehow it could always be sooner than later.
In 2 Samuel chapter 6 we see both accounts of David bringing the Ark into Jerusalem. The first time we see David leading the whole house of Israel in a response of celebrating with all his might accompanied by instruments, singing, shouting, and dancing. Then the oxen carrying the cart with the Ark stumbled and Uzzah reached out and took hold of the Ark and the LORD struck him dead because of the irreverent act. David became angry with God and then afraid of him. He took it aside to the house of Obed-Edom for three months who became blessed because of the presence of God.
Later in the same chapter we see the second account of David bringing the Ark into Jerusalem and the same exuberant response of instruments, singing, shouting, and dancing. But this time there was joy, blessing, and generosity, while the first time the result was anger, fear, and death. What was the difference? To see David's 'Aha!' moment we have to go to 1 Chronicles chapters 13-15.
In Chapter thirteen we see the first account of bringing the Ark. Then we get a major insight in chapter 14. David fights two battles with the Philistines. In preparation for both battles it clearly states that David inquired of the LORD. He asked for the revelation of how to attack. On each occasion the LORD gave him different instructions. David obeyed and there was victory both times.
Then in chapter 15 David says, "Aha! We did not inquire of the LORD how to bring up the Ark in the prescribed way!" In other words, the first time they brought their response without revelation. The second time their response was connected to the revelation of God. This is God's relational pattern; revelation and response. Response focused worship will not hold up in the long run. It won't stand up to trials, temptation, or persecution.
Realizing God's relational pattern of revelation and response has significantly impacted the way I lead gathered worship and daily impacts the way I live. Each day I ask the LORD to help me grow in living my days looking to him, listening to him, and responding to him. Worship is Life!