. . . they shall mount up with wings as eagles . . . Isaiah 40:31

Davidic Worship

The Bible says that King David danced before the LORD with all his might, and it says that Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.

2 Samuel 6:13 And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings.

2 Samuel 6:14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. [a priestly garment.]

2 Samuel 6:15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.

So, in this passage we see dancing, shouting, and music taking place in the presence of the LORD, represented by the ark of God’s presence. This type of extravagant worship has been called Davidic worship, because it’s the way that David, the shepherd boy who became king, worshiped.

Anointed of the Spirit

Now, as a child, David had been anointed by Samuel the prophet to be king over Israel, though the process of actually becoming king took a number of years.

1 Samuel 16:12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.

1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.

Samuel had told the current king, king Saul, that God had chosen a man better than him to be king, a man after God’s own heart. And here, in the house of Jesse, when David is brought in, even though he is barely more than a child, the Lord says to Samuel, arise, anoint him, for this is he, the one I spoke of. And it says that the Holy Spirit came upon David from that day when he was anointed by Samuel.

So, David was no ordinary young man. The Spirit of the LORD was upon his life. And when he played his harp, the Spirit of God was upon his music. It says that when an evil spirit came upon king Saul and tormented him that David played upon his harp, and the evil spirit departed from Saul.

And so, David had an understanding from an early age of how to connect with the presence of the LORD through his music. And even today, we still connect with God’s presence through the singing of spiritual songs, through singing either the older hymns or the modern Christian worship songs. We still today come before His presence with singing.

The Company of Prophets

When Saul was first anointed to be king of Israel, he went through some rather unusual events. He had been searching for his father’s missing donkeys, and had come to visit the seer, who was Samuel, to find out what to do. Samuel told him that the donkeys had been found, but he also had Saul stay overnight, and the next morning he anointed him to be king.

That was, of course, completely unexpected by Saul, but Samuel spoke some things to assure him that it was what the LORD wanted, and told him that certain things would take place to confirm all of this after he departed from Samuel’s home. He said, you’ll meet two men who will tell you that your father’s donkeys were found, and then you’ll meet three men who will give you some food.

1 Samuel 10:5 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:

1 Samuel 10:6 And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.

And all these things did take place after Saul left Samuel’s house. But, the obvious question is, who is this company of musical prophets? They played musical instruments, a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp. And as they played, they prophesied. And the spiritual atmosphere that surrounded them was so powerful that whoever came near them would also begin to prophesy.

Now, we must understand that all these things took place a thousand years before Christ was born in Bethlehem. Men were connecting with the Spirit of God through music and then prophesying the word of the LORD.

There is also a connection in our day between Holy Spirit anointed worship and the Spirit of prophecy. Jesus said in the book of Revelation that the Spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus. Jesus still speaks to His church through this means.

But where did these musical prophets come from? If we continue to study the books of Samuel, we will find in a later passage that Samuel presided over a training center, a school of the prophets, where he trained these young men to prophesy in this manner. Samuel was a new order of prophetic minister, and he taught a new order of musical prophets to connect with the LORD through music. And that ability still exists in our modern day church.

David’s Tabernacle

When David at last became king of Israel, his first order of business was to bring the ark of God, which had resided in the forest country of Kirjath Jearim for twenty years, back into the city of David, or, that is, Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 6:17 And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.

David erected a large tent on Mount Zion in which he placed the ark of the covenant, the ark in which the LORD Himself resided, between the cherubim on top of the ark, the Bible says.

Isaiah 37:15 And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying,

Isaiah 37:16 O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, THAT DWELLEST BETWEEN THE CHERUBIMS, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.

The ark of God, the ark of the covenant, was, to Israel, the presence of the LORD Himself. God dwelt in and around the ark.

And David set the ark of God in the midst, or the center, of the tent, or tabernacle, he had pitched for it. And in that tent, worship to the LORD took place continually, around the clock, during the reign of David. David made room for the worship of God. It was his first order of business.

Who would David choose to worship in the presence of the Lord in his tent on Mount Zion? The obvious answer is that he would use those musical prophets that Samuel had raised up, or, at least, prophetic people who had been trained in musical prophecy, like the company of prophets that Saul met on his way from Samuel.

The Bible says that David set the sons of Asaph over the worship in his tabernacle, and they would have certainly been trained in prophetic worship.

The Psalms, at least most of them, were written as prophetic songs during these years of worship in David’s tabernacle. David himself wrote many of these songs, being himself a prophetic worshiper from his childhood days of keeping his father’s sheep.

What is Davidic worship?

The various forms of Davidic worship can be found in the book of Psalms, which, for the most part, originated in the worship that took place on Mount Zion. We’ve already seen David dancing before the Lord, and loud music and shouting that accompanied the bringing in of the ark of God. But there’s more.

Psalm 100:1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

Psalm 100:2 Serve the LORD with gladness: [or rejoicing] come before his presence with singing.

So, making a joyful noise, and singing were there in David’s tabernacle. In fact, it says to come before God’s presence with singing. That’s the proper way to approach the Lord even today.

Psalm 47:1 O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

Psalm 47:2 For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.

Hand clapping, applause, and victorious shouting, were in David’s Tabernacle.

Psalm 63:3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

Psalm 63:4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

The praise of our lips, the lifting up of hands to the Lord, the expression of joyful thanks to Him with our words, or, as Hebrews 13:15 says, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.

Psalm 95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

Kneeling before the Lord was another form of worship in David’s Tabernacle. Yes, there was celebration and shouting, but there were also times of solemn worship and bowing to the LORD in silence.

Psalm 96:1 O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.

It says to sing unto the LORD a new song. The word “new” here means fresh, sing unto the Lord a fresh song, perhaps, we might infer, a spontaneous or unrehearsed song, a song that hasn’t been sung before.

Remember what it says in Ephesians 5:19, where Paul the apostle talks about how to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Bring filled with the Spirit involves the making of melody in our heart to the Lord. That’s how the New Testament tells us to be filled with the Spirit, and one of those ways is to sing spiritual songs, songs that come unrehearsed from the heart.

These are a few of the forms of worship that take place in an atmosphere of open worship before the Lord.

And if you haven’t figured it out yet, Davidic worship is New Testament worship. Old Testament worship consisted of animal sacrifices in solemn assemblies that contained no music and no joyful celebration. It was about the slaying of animals to cover the sins of the people.

But as believers in Christ, we have the eternal sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. He is our eternal sacrifice. There is no more a sacrifice for us to make to God other than the sacrifice of praise and the giving of thanks to Him, along with the sacrifice of joy, a joyful heart, for the things He has done for us. And that’s what Davidic worship is all about.

Hebrews 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

Hebrews 13:14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

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