King David is a legendary, multifaceted creative, divinely bequeathed with physical and spiritual capacities—a prolific harp player, poet, skilled lyricist, Spirit-filled musician and psalmist, plus, a supernaturally enhanced warrior. That’s a great resume, isn’t it? I’m certain there’s a wealth of lessons for modern creatives to learn from David’s creative pursuits just to mention but a few.
ACCOMPLISHED AND ANOINTED HARPIST/LYRIST
In 1 Samuel 16:14-23, we learn that King David was not only a skilled harp/lyre player. He played in a way that was both physically and spiritually therapeutic! “Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul—he would feel better and the evil spirit would leave him” (v. 23). David’s playing was two-fold. It gave the afflicted king physical and spiritual relief and had the power to cause the evil spirit to leave him.
In like fashion, Christian creatives must be alert to anointed music’s therapeutic power to relieve spiritual and physical suffering. It’s a divine art—a language of faith and an ignition button that revs up the spiritual engine and brings God into the scene. Consequently, God shows Himself in all His glory.
PROLIFIC POET AND VERSATILE LYRICIST, MUSICIAN AND PSALMIST
David was creative in his worship. He loved new songs (Psalms 33:3, 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1). More so, it had to be skilful singing and playing with understanding. Out of the 150 Psalms, it is said that 73 are David’s. Some are imprecatory prayers and laments; others are songs of praise to God and hymns of thanksgiving for answered prayers. In challenging circumstances, he not only wrote prayers, lyrics, poems and psalms that described his prevailing trials, but he also prescribed to his soul amazing faith-based comebacks and ultimately ascribed greatness to God alone.
David was not just an ordinary lyricist, poet and musician, he was a worshiper. His music gave voice to his belief, devotion and heartfelt prayers. His versatile shepherding skills found their way into his psalms and provided incredible metaphors for God’s tender care. Christian creatives can learn spiritual truths and passion for God from David’s multifaceted psalms and prayer life during varied phases of life.
THE MANIFOLD MUSICAL DIRECTOR
David was a multi-faceted music director of an exceptional orchestra. He played the role of the principal director and creative/arts leader. He had enormous influence over the orchestra’s creative direction and gained respect by being an example of creativity, competence and commitment. In 1 Chronicles 15, David prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. He called upon the priests and Levites to consecrate themselves in order to bring up the ark of the Lord to the place he prepared for it.
He also told the leaders of the Levites to appoint fellow Levites as musicians to make a joyful sound with musical instruments—lyres, harps and cymbals. Kenaniah was in charge of the singing because he was skilful at it. “So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouts, with the sounding of rams’ horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps,” (v. 28).
The number of people in the King David-led orchestra was staggering. “The Levites thirty years old or more were counted, and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand. David said, “Of these, twenty-four thousand are to be in charge of the work of the temple of the Lord and six thousand are to be officials and judges. Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose” (1 Chronicles 23:3-5). Look at that! 4,000 skilful instrumentalists!
The musicians were jubilant and skilfully played their instruments and David danced before the Lord with all his might.
There is power in anointed music. God has used musicians time and again for His divine purpose—to bring people into His holy presence and to refresh them; to defeat the enemy and to destroy his works. Let all Christian creatives lead by example.
SUPERNATURALLY ENHANCED WARRIOR
Psalm 78:72 says, “And David shepherded them with the integrity of heart; with skilful hands, he led them.” Integrity and skill are a dynamic duo in creative ministry. A skilful hand means David had a high level of proficiency in performing various tasks assigned to him. Having integrity of heart means that he wasn’t perfect but his heart was not seared or hardened by sin.
David is described as a man who was after God’s heart. He did not treat God’s people anyhow but ruled with skillfulness and integrity of heart. While in the fields tending his father’s flock, David mastered the art of slingshot. The sling was all he had; all he knew how to use to keep the bears and lions away from his father’s sheep.
The sling was also an incredible and highly effective military weapon for him. 1 Samuel 17:50 says, “So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, struck the Philistine down and killed him….”
Christian creatives must do their best to improve and perfect their competencies and knowledge in their God-given creative abilities. God is worthy of our very best; we must serve Him with purity of heart and with a sense of excellence in everything we do.