It is very evident that God gave to David many talents as well as the greatest of all gifts: grace, which sanctified those talents for use by God in his life. He was not only skilled as a shepherd, as a marksman with his sling, but also he could play the harp.
Now to really play a musical instrument is not just to make a noise. It is often said of a skilled musician that they can make their instrument talk. David was just such a man. His fame in this respect first brought him into Saul’s court where, to pacify the morose and melancholy spirit of that unhappy king, he was asked to play the harp.
It seems sad, does it not, that Saul did not go to the Lord for the comfort which only He could give?
However, it was of the Lord that this should bring David one step on in his path to the throne of Israel.
Now I would feel sure that when David played his harp, often he would be singing the precious psalms which God had inspired him to write.
We wonder, for example, what tune he would have sung to Psalm 23?
It would not have been Crimond, “which many of us sing. However, it does not really matter what tune he might have sung it to. More importantly he would have sung from the heart.
For many years, in the village of Hullavington, in Wiltshire, there was a Strict Baptist Chapel where a few godly people met to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.
There were also people who attended other places of worship in the village, who were rather proud of their singing abilities. One day one of these people met in the street one of the members of the Strict Baptist Chapel.
He accosted him with the words:
“How do they sing in your chapel?”
Swift was the reply from the godly member:
“With the heart, and with the understanding also.”
I rather think it was that which would have made David’s harp sound so well, as he played and sung to it.
How many of us also sing, not because we like the music, but because our heart echoes the words of praise we sing with our lips?
They are the true worshippers in God’s sight, and the sound of their voice is a sweet savour to Him, whatever others who hear them may be thinking.
By Gerald D. Buss