(The Information & Edification Series – Batch 8)
I love to praise God and if you know me or spend enough time on this Website, you will realize that I have a deep-seated desire to give public praise to my God. This has been birthed through my many experiences over the years, where, although undeserving, a sinner and a wretch, God has been good to me, has showed up in my many storms to deliver, protect, fight for, strengthen, provide for and chasten me because he loved me and showered unmerited grace upon me.
There is a forum especially, that I’ve cherished for many years in my heart, which only God can bring to pass. In this forum, I have long planned, if it is his will, to give him public praise to the exclusion of everybody else and solely to his honour and glory, even if people think it is too much or that I am overdoing it or wonder if I’ve lost my mind.
I’ve often told people of this and they look at me quizzically as if I’m crazy but when you’ve been through what I have been through in life, from childhood, to date and understand what the Lord has done for me and how he has demonstrated the depth of his love for me, protecting and even pulling me away from danger, providing for me in hunger, advising me with his wise counsel, delivering me from my enemies and even chastening me when I was deserving of it because I am his child and he loves me, you begin to understand and to appreciate what is in my heart. I’ve been through much, God has loved me much and I want to praise him much, in public.
How I feel about publicly praising God and rejoicing in him alone can be found in several of my Articles. I have written much about it. However, a glimpse of it can be found under the ‘Courting or Engaged Daughters’ page, at Articles 30, entitled ‘WHAT WILL BE YOUR WEDDING DAY MESSAGE?’ and Article 27 entitled, ‘WHY I WANT TO PRAISE JESUS ALONE ON MY WEDDING DAY’. Feel free to read these when you can.
While I don’t need a Wedding to give God public praise and have been praising him publicly over the years on my Facebook page and in other forums when I get opportunity to do so, I realize that people need bait to really pay attention and so, I have long planned, if God should ever grace me with a spouse, to use the platform of my Engagement and Wedding, to promote HIS glory. I guess this means that I plan to use my God-sent future husband in this regard as well but I don’t care. He will have to take a backseat because Jesus is first and foremost on the throne of my heart and I want to use that time to publicly praise HIM, not my fiance.
With how I feel in mind, today, I was reading 2 Samuel 6 in my personal devotions, about when David brought the ark of the Lord into the city of David and publicly praised God in the process. I then went in search of Charles’ Spurgeon’s commentary on verses 22-23 because I did not fully understand David’s response to his wife Michal, who had opposed his behaviour.
In doing so, I found a lovely exposition that Charles Spurgeon (deceased) had given on David’s response to his wife and in particular about the beauty of praising God from the perspective of the one doing the praising, when he knows that it is by God’s grace that he was chosen.
What he wrote rung so true of what has been in my heart for years, in relation to all that God has done for me and what I desire to do for him, that I felt the need to share excerpts of what he said, here.
2 Samuel 6:12-23 reads:
- “And it was told king David, saying, The Lord hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.
- And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
- So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.
- 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. And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house.
- Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!
- And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord. And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour. Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.”
In his Sermon entitled, “David Dancing Before The Ark Because Of His Election”, Charles Spurgeon in summary, basically stated that when people have been chosen by God’s grace and know, understand and appreciate that they, as wretches are completely undeserving of his love and therefore want to live a life of thankfulness, praise and worship to him, such people are characterized by certain attributes, as follows:
- God is their leading thought – HE is their central focus
- They have a disregard for human opinion – They don’t care what people think of their actions
- They have a low opinion of self – They do not think highly of themselves, knowing they are wretches
- They have a sense of holy brotherhood – They don’t discriminate or see class in God’s family
- They have a desire for the service of God-They are passionate about doing God’s work
- They are excited with sacred enthusiasm – They are excited about all that pertains to the Lord.
CHARLES SPURGEON STATED:
“DAVID had been soaring up on eagle’s wings. Perhaps never in his life before had he so enjoyed the public worship of God. He had forgotten everything in the delight of bringing the ark of the Lord home to his own city, where he had prepared a tabernacle for its resting-place. He had thrown himself into the gladsome service of the Lord that day. Nor had he been alone in joyful adoration; for all the people had been unanimously with him in honouring Jehovah, the God of their fathers. It had been a high day, a day of days, such a day as the nation had not enjoyed in all its history before.
The king came home to bless his household, wishing that all his family might share in his joy. Exactly at that moment his wife, Michal, Saul’s daughter, who had felt disgusted at seeing her husband dressed like a common Levite, and leading the way in the midst of the common people, came out to meet him, full of furious scorn. Her language to him must have acted as if a man had thrown a pail of cold water into his face. With sarcastic words, villainously exaggerating what he had done, and imputing to him what he had never done, she scolded the man she had scorned. How he must have felt it for the moment!…
Always suspect some danger nigh when you perceive too much delight. It may sound like a paradox, but it is true, and experience proves it, that we never seem to be so near meeting the devil as when we have just met our God. When our Saviour had been on the Mount of Transfiguration with his disciples, he met, at the foot of the hill, a father with a child possessed of the devil! Whenever you enjoy a season of peculiarly close communion with God, and are full of very high joy, be on your guard. The very worst side of the world will be turned towards you when you have been nearest to the eternal throne. Pirates look out for loaded vessels.
Probably Michal had never spoken so to David before; but then David had never before danced before the ark of the Lord. Here stood the man of God confronted by one whose feelings were the very opposite of his own. Like an iceberg, she crossed the path of this great vessel, and chilled it like an Arctic winter. This led David to reaffirm and yet more plainly state his faith in God… David justified what he had done by God’s choice of him. If he had arrayed himself like a Levite, and danced with all his might before the ark in the presence of the common people, he said, “It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord.”
Dear brethren, there is a great power in the truth of election when a man can grasp it. When he knows for himself truthfully, and by indisputable evidence, that the Lord has chosen him, then he breaks forth in songs of divine adoration and praise: then is his heart lifted up, and he pays a homage to God which others would not think of paying. The Lord Jesus has manifested himself to him as he does not unto the world; and therefore he acts towards the Lord Jesus as the world can never act, and does what the world can never understand.
I am going to speak to those of you who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, for you are chosen: faith is the sure mark of election. If you believe in Jesus, and are resting in him, this is the token that God has chosen you from before the foundation of the world; for no man yet ever had a true faith in Christ without receiving it from God, and that gift from God is the token that he will give all other saving, gifts, and that he has chosen that man to eternal salvation. The effect upon you of your knowing your election of God will be similar to the effect which it had upon David when he knew that the Lord had chosen him to be the ruler over Israel.
What effect had this doctrine, this experience, this inward conviction upon David?
First, IT MADE GOD THE LEADING THOUGHT WITH DAVID
…I believe that, in every case where a man is inwardly persuaded of the Holy Ghost that the Lord has chosen him out of the world, the sure and certain effect is that the Lord stands out to him in a clear light, and becomes to him the greatest force in his life, the chief motive power, the main thought of his mind. Observe how David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord”; and all through the chapter you constantly read that David did this and that “before the Lord.” In the fourteenth verse we read, “And David danced before the Lord with all his might.”
The man who believes that God has chosen him, from that moment beholds a living God in nature, in providence, and in grace: in fact, the Lord becomes everything to him. This was especially the case with David in his devotion. David that day worshipped God in spirit and in truth.
A great many people, when they go up to the assembly, are very particular about their bonnets or their garments. Somebody might, perhaps, notice their bonnets, and this thought weighs heavily on their hearts. I have known people say that they could not go to a place of worship because they had not proper things to go in; their clothes being evidently a great consideration. What a turning aside from God to the tailor!
Often people sit in the house of prayer, and profess to worship, but they are noticing who is there, and who is not there; and any little slip in the preacher’s language is a welcome diversion to them. They think of anybody and anything rather than God. It was not so with David: to him the Lord was all in all in worship. He said to himself, “I am King of Israel, but that I may avow myself to be the true servant of Jehovah I will put on a linen garment to-day, like a common Levite.”
This he did “before the Lord.” The Lord, who searches the heart, knew what David meant by his dress, by his playing upon the harp, and by his leaping and dancing in the midst of the people. It was “before the Lord” that he showed his excessive joy; and if others happened to be there as spectators, he did not repel them, but he did not restrain himself. If the Lord accepted him, and his offerings, and his praises, he would have all that he wanted, whether the multitude or the princes of Israel accepted him or not.
Now, the man who believes that the Lord has chosen him unto himself will worship the Lord alone, and will neither idolize the creature, nor even cast a side-look upon him when he is adoring his Maker.
…Secondly, IT WILL CREATE IN US A PROPER DISREGARD FOR HUMAN OPINION.
I have already told you that in his worship David did not allow the opinions of men to weigh with him. He worshipped “before the Lord,” and there he left it. Men might judge him mad, as Michal seems to hint that he was; or they might condemn him as fanatical, extravagant, and rabid; but this was as the chaff of the threshing-floor to him. If any despised him in their hearts he was not moved thereby; for so long as he knew that his heart was right before God, and that his worship was accepted of God, he would let others commend or censure at their own sweet wills.
God’s chosen servant is not the servant of men. He could not serve two masters, and he does not try to do so. He goes about his Master’s business with a holy liberty of soul, for his bonds are loosed towards man.
…Then, thirdly, A SENSE OF ELECTION CAUSES A LOW OPINION OF SELF.
David said, “I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight.” David would more and more abase himself before the Lord. He felt that whatever Michal’s opinion of him might be, it could not be more humbling than his own view of himself.
Brother, if any man thinks ill of you, do not be angry with him; for you are worse than he thinks you to be. If he charges you falsely on some point, yet be satisfied, for if he knew you better he might change the accusation, and you would be no gainer by the correction. If you have your moral portrait painted, and it is ugly, be satisfied; for it only needs a few blacker touches, and it would be still nearer the truth.
“I will be base in mine own sight.” This was well said. Perhaps if David had carried it out more fully, and had been rendered watchful thereby, it might have saved him from his great fall. A sense of electing love will render you base in your own sight. I will tell you why. First, you will never understand why the Lord has chosen you. Often will you sing:
“What was there in me that could merit esteem,
Or give the Creator delight?
‘’Twas even so, Father,’ I ever must sing,
‘Because it seem’d good in thy sight.’”
The more sure you are of the divine choice, and the better you understand it, the more will you enquire: “Whence is this to me?”
I dare say David, in a few quick thoughts, reviewed his former estate. He saw himself as the shepherd’s boy keeping a few sheep in the wilderness. He saw himself fetched home all in a hurry, because Samuel had asked for him. The prophet had come to anoint one of Jesse’s sons, and each one of the big brothers imagined that he himself must be the Lord’s chosen; but his hopes were quenched as the prophet cried, “Neither hath the Lord chosen this.”…
Then the king recollected the dangers and troubles he had experienced. Oh that some persons who talk so proudly could but know a little of the rough side of life! Hunted like a partridge on the mountains, bearing his life in his hand for many a day, David had at last passed out of persecution, and had become the accepted king of all Israel! Because the Lord had chosen him, he had helped and saved him from the hand of all his enemies. His bitter experiences made him wear his honours meekly.
Brother believer, if you have had a tried experience, you will look back upon it with deep gratitude and self -abasement. The tears will be in your eyes as you sing of judgment and mercy, and abundantly utter the memory of his great goodness. I cannot exalt myself, nor talk of my works, my prayers, my desires, my seeking of the Lord, or anything that is my own; for my salvation was all of grace, and the Lord wrought all my works in me. The doctrine of distinguishing grace sinks us, and our experience in connection with it sinks us; we cannot lie low enough before the Lord.
… All the while David had a deep sense of his personal unworthiness. He did not know his own heart fully— no man does so. But he knew enough of himself to make him base in his own sight; for he could never think himself worthy of the choice of God, and all that it involved. Our heart adores and wonders as we think of the election of God. As we rise in the assurance of the divine choice, we sink in our valuation of ourselves.
…IV. A SENSE OF DIVINE ELECTION FOSTERS A FEELING OF HOLY BROTHERHOOD.
There is David arrayed as a common Levite; he is down among the people, and he is leading them in the holy dance before the ark of the Lord. David, why, you ought to have had too much self-respect to be acting so! Kings should keep themselves to themselves. Dignities should be worn with decorum. Yes, but David does not feel that he is in the least degraded by associating with the people of the Lord.
It is wonderful how democratic the doctrines of grace are, and how aristocratic they are too. The chosen are all kings, and when we mix with the poorest of them we are kings with kings. Free grace strips the proud, but it adorns the humble. If we can fare as God’s people fare, we are well content. We despise not one of the least of Christ’s little ones. David was the Lord’s servant, like the rest of them, and he was not ashamed to show it; nay, he rejoiced that it was so, and said, “O Lord, I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid; thou hast loosed my bonds.” Specially had the bonds of pride been broken from him, and he had been made to feel it a joy to be numbered with the least of the people of God.
David honoured the humblest of the Lord’s chosen; for when Michal talked about what the handmaids of his servants would say, he answered, “Of the maid-servants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.” To be esteemed by them was a cheer to him. I would rather have the esteem of the maid-servant who loves the Lord than the respect of her mistress who is a stranger to the divine life. It is better to have the love of the poorest man in the workhouse if he is a child of God, than to have honour from the most eminent of those who know not the Lord.
We do not measure you, my hearers, by the amount of your money or the breadth of your acres: to us there are only two classes—the Lord’s people and the Lord’s enemies. To which class do you belong? If you are not among his believing people, may the Lord have mercy upon you, and bring you to his feet; but if you are among the heirs of grace, we value you above the gold of Ophir.
How beautiful it is to see the learned and the illiterate, the great and the lowly, made one family by the grace of God! It is marvellous what power this has had in the Christian church; and I pray its power may be felt more and more until everything like caste and class is abolished in the church of God, and we shall become brethren indeed and of a truth.
As the chosen of God, our names are written in the same book, we are redeemed with the same blood, we are called by the same Spirit, we are quickened by the same life, and hope soon to meet in the same heaven. This is the truest confederation, the union of hearts in the common Lord. As the elect of God we break away from the world, but we come together in one body in Christ.
…A SENSE OF BEING CHOSEN OF GOD, STIRS A DESIRE FOR THE SERVICE OF GOD.
Such service will be PERSONAL. Look at David. He must serve God himself. He cannot let the priests and Levites do it; he must take a turn as a Levite himself. Lots of people allow their ministers to serve God for them, or they subscribe to societies, that by means of a committee they may serve God at second-hand. The man that God has chosen must have a personal religion, and he must offer a personal service. The woman who had had much forgiven did not come to Peter and say, “Please, Mr. Peter, I have an alabaster box of ointment; will you at some proper time or other be pleased to pour it upon the Master?” No, she must break the alabaster box, and pour out the ointment herself. David cannot be satisfied with all that priests and Levites can do for him; he must honour the Lord himself.
This personal service will be CHEERFUL. “David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom into the city of David with gladness.” Who should be so glad as God’s elect? If the Lord has chosen me he has put a chime of bells into the belfry of my soul. Let the slaves who are earning their salvation serve him with gloom and terror; as for me, to whom salvation has been freely given, I must come into his presence with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. The oil of gladness which is poured upon our Lord Jesus as our Head runs down to the least and lowest of us. ‘
If you are really chosen of God, you will take pleasure in what you can do for him. Your duty will be your delight. You cannot do enough for your Lord; you are always wanting to do more when you have done most; and gifts which you can present and deeds which you can perform are the greatest enjoyments of your life.
This service will be in connection with the great SACRIFICE. David served God by offering sacrifices. All along the way by which he brought the ark he left a track of blood, the blood of appointed burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. If you serve God aright, you will be for ever remembering the cross, and the substitutionary death there accomplished for our redemption. You will only hope to be accepted in your work of faith through the one great Sacrifice for sin. We need more of Jesus in all that we do for our God.
This service should be THOUGHTFUL. David set to work and wrote psalms in honour of the Lord that chose him. He who loves God will take a turn at almost everything. He will sing, and bless, and pray, and preach, and a thousand other things, if he can. I would not like a string of my harp to rust. You do not know what is in you yet. Try to do something more for your Lord. Write sonnets to the praise and glory of his wondrous grace if you can.
This service must be OBEDIENT. David was careful that day in bringing back the ark into the tent in a proper manner. Everything was done according to law. The chosen of God feels bound to be careful of the will of him that chose him. If God commands a thing, it must be done. It may be that he belongs to a church which does not see it; but if he sees it, he does not excuse himself by the blindness of others. If he believes that the Lord has commanded a thing, although it is said to be non-essential and secondary, he obeys. God’s precepts bind his chosen. They delight to run in the way of his commandments.
…my last point. A SENSE OF DIVINE ELECTION WILL EXCITE SACRED ENTHUSIASM.
David had an inward delight in God. God was his exceeding joy. Personally, I have overflowing joy in the doctrines of eternal, unchanging love. It is bliss to know that the Lord has chosen me.
…If my salvation were of my own working, I might fitly praise myself. If I had a finger in it, I might justly praise that finger. If I reached heaven by my own might and merits, I might justly throw up my cap in the golden streets before the cherubim. But, brethren, it is all of grace from first to last: and therefore we exult and rejoice, and leap for joy as we praise and bless the name of God!
To conclude, David felt so exultant that he wished everybody to know of his joy in God. He told all the crowd around of his delight in God; and he sang that day, “Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.” They speak of the narrow, selfish spirit of the Hebrews; why David had a missionary spirit, and often does it flame out in his psalms. They say that those of us who believe that we are the chosen of God are narrow and selfish. We will prove the contrary by our evangelistic zeal.
(Article written and excerpts from C.H. Spurgeon’s 1888 Sermon extracted on 10th April, 2023)