David the Musician




“Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.”

Psalm 33:3



  1. On Wednesday night we briefly reviewed keeping our hearts, as Solomon had instructed in Proverbs 4:23.
  2. One important part of keeping your heart is to have godly music both in your mouth and also for your ears.
  3. We can quite easily in the best case forget about godly music or in the worst case listen to the world’s music.
  4. Consider the power of music, for it does terrible things for the wicked and can powerfully move the righteous.
    1. It is called the language of the soul, for it often has an effect deep in the listener well beyond just sounds.
    2. David’s public ministry began by soothing King Saul from devils by instrumental music (I Sa 16:14-22).
    3. A wife might manipulate her husband’s heart to his children by an electronic picture frame with a history of the family, and a man might manipulate his soul, home, and family by providing regular godly music.
  5. David was the man after God’s own heart, but to be like him you must love and employ much godly music.
    1. From the beginning to the end of his life, and certainly as part of his worship, David greatly loved music.
    2. He was skilful with the harp when young, and he died as Israel’s sweet psalmist (I Sam 16:18; II Sa 23:1).
    3. It is a fact that men in love with fine arts such as music are often sodomites, but not the LORD’s David.
    4. Men may play harps all they wish, if they kill lions, bears, and giants in their spare time (Psalm 144:1)!
    5. While writing Israel’s poetry, inventing their instruments, and organizing worship, he was a man of war!
  6. Let this simple review of David’s love and use of music to the LORD encourage you to revive it in your life.
    1. Jehovah created music, knows its effects very well, and regulates it in perfect wisdom in both testaments.
    2. We know that public worship in the New Testament is acapella singing without any kind of instruments.
    3. We can easily read David’s Psalms and make the right disconnect regarding musical instruments listed.
    4. We understand our personal liberty to use musical instruments outside the assemblies for public worship.
  1. God made your vocal cords and the ability to switch from talking to melodic resonating; as Creator, Father, and Judge He has every ability and authority to dictate how you use music.
  2. The devil has always tried to ape the worship of Jehovah, and he has done so with music, for it can be found playing an important role among the most ignorant, God-hating savages in the world.
  3. The world obsesses about music, but its music at best is quite hopeless and/or meaningless, and at worst it is for possession by the devil and an act of worship of the devil by rebellion against God.
  4. Musical is powerful (called the language of the soul), and the best example is David playing skillfully for King Saul to drive evil spirits away and refresh him (I Sam 16:14-23).
  5. The first song in the Bible is the song of Moses (Exodus 15:1-19), where Miriam led the women of Israel in dancing to these ferocious and glorious words of praise (Ex 15:20-21).
  6. The same song with some additions and modifications is also the last song (Rev 15:3-4).
  7. David, the man after God’s own heart, was God’s musician by numerous abilities, accomplishments, and influences: at the least, he wrote the lyrics, organized the choirs and orchestras, and invented the musical instruments for the greatest O.T. worship (Amos 6:5; I Chron 23:5; II Chron 29:26; etc.).
  8. Consider several of the instruments referred to in the psalms and in the writings about David.
    1. Psaltery. A stringed instrument like a dulcimer, but where the strings are plucked. It is different from a harp, in that the soundboard is behind and parallel with the string, where the harp’s strings are exposed.
    2. Timbrel. A percussion instrument, like a tambourine, which could be held and used by one hand.
    3. Organ. A general class of musical instruments, usually of the wind variety, which has developed into the most complex of musical instruments.
    4. Tabret. A small tabor; a timbrel.
    5. Psalm 150 refers to loud cymbals and high sounding cymbals.
    6. And there was a stringed-instrument of ten strings, apparently distinguished from the psaltery and harp (Psalm 33:2; 92:3; 144:9).
  9. In reading the Psalms, you encounter David emphasizing the singing of praise to God very often (Psalm 7:17; 9:2,11; 13:6; 18:49; 21:13; 27:6; 30:4,12; 33:2-3; 47:6-7; 51:14; 57:7,9; 59:16-17; 61:8; 66:2,4; 67:4; 68:4,32; 71:22-23; 75:9; 81:1; 89:1; 92:1; 95:1; 96:1-2; 98:1,4-5; 101:1; 104:33; 105:2; 108:1,3; 135:3; 138:1,5; 144:9; 145:7; 146:2; 147:1; 147:7; 149:1,3,5).
  10. David loved new songs, for they are creative worship (Psalms 33:2; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1).
  11. David wanted skilful singing and playing, and he wanted it loud (Psalms 33:3; 98:4; 150:5).
  12. David wanted singing with understanding, just like Paul required (Psalms 47:7; I Cor 14:14-15).
  13. He had constant singing in the house of God (I Chron 6:31-38; 9:33; 16:36-43; Ps 134:1-2; 135:1-3).
  14. Consider the intensity and variety when they moved the Ark the first time (I Chronicles 13:8).
  15. Consider moving the Ark the second time (I Chronicles 15:16,19-22,24,27-28; I Chron 16:7,36-43).
  16. Consider the size of the choir David organized for singing and playing (I Chron 23:5,30; 25:1-7).
  17. Consider the volume of the choir David’s son chose for dedicating the temple (II Chron 5:12-14)!
  18. Solomon dedicated the temple by his father David’s example (II Chronicles 5:11-14; 7:6; 8:14).
  19. They were still following David’s plan 340 years when Hezekiah was king (II Chr 29:25-30) and 440 years later when Josiah was king (II Chron 35:15).
  20. The Son of David, our Lord Jesus Christ, sang as well, for it was prophesied of Him and fulfilled by Him (Psalm 22:22; Heb 2:12; Matt 26:30; Mark 14:26).
  21. We Gentiles are brought right beside David by Paul’s use of Psalm 18:49 in Romans 15:9. Glory!
  22. The most important part of singing is the words and the least important the musical skill of your singing, for the melody that counts most is the one in your heart (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16).
  23. The two most definitive verses about N.T. singing teach these things (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16):
    1. The doctrinal words are important by virtue of speaking, teaching, and admonishing.
    2. There are three kinds of lyrical compositions used – psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
    3. The musical component for the New Testament is singing, only singing, not playing.
    4. The basis and foundation of singing are abundant grace and Christ’s word and wisdom.
    5. The origin and source of the melody that matters most is a heart prepared and directed.
    6. The further and ultimate object and purpose is praise to the Lord as the goal of singing.
  24. A New Testament church will sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19; Col 3:16).
    1. A psalm is obvious; it is one of the poetic writings in the book of Psalms by David or Asaph.
    2. A hymn is a song directed to the Lord in ascribing to Him blessing, praise, and worship directly.
    3. A spiritual song is a song about salvation, the Christian life, the hope of heaven, the church, etc.
    4. It might require a Psalter, a hymnal, and a songbook to accomplish this division frequently.
  25. When should you sing? The Bible says to sing psalms when you are merry (James 5:13), so there is New Testament directive to look to David as God’s musician for the lyrics of praise and worship.
  26. When should you sing? The Bible describes Paul singing when very afflicted (Acts 16:25), so there is New Testament example of using music for comfort and praise by those in a spirit of prayer.
  27. By considering all three of the above situations, there is no time not to sing, so sing in spite of feelings or circumstances! Wise souls might alter words or melody for their particular situation.
  28. The sacrifices of purified sons of Levi include singing His praise (Mal 3:3-4; Heb 13:15; I Pet 2:5).
  29. Singing in church assemblies should be appreciated, esteemed, and participated in with great love and zeal for the Lord and saints. It is a congregational ordinance for when we meet together.
  30. More could be said, has been said, and will be said. So grab a Psalter, hymnal, or songbook and sing!


  1. One important part of keeping your heart is to have godly music both in your mouth and also for your ears.
  2. David was the man after God’s own heart, but to be like him you must love and employ much godly music.
  3. Let this simple review of David’s love and use of music to the LORD encourage you to revive it in your life.
  4. What changes will you make beginning today to get more music in your mouth and more in your ears?
  5. Go to our website and sing with the church (sing any or all).
  6. Take one hour for God and learn about Psalters and matching metrical tunes.
  7. Here our church sing Psalm 100 to the tune Old One Hundredth.
  8. Learn common meter: four lines of syllable counts 8,6,8,6. Write and sing a new song or a favorite passage. Example here and here
  9. Follow the Bible text for the gospel by Handel’s MESSIAH.
  10. Use YouTube for something profitable (Fernando Ortega).
  11. Use YouTube for something profitable (Ps 100; Westminster).
  12. Use YouTube for something good (Too Small a Price).
  13. Use YouTube for something good (Ps 3; Brooklyn Tabernacle).

For Further Study:

  1. PowerPoint Presentation: Songs for Worship.
  2. Sermon Outline: Heart of David.
  3. PowerPoint Presentation: Keeping the Heart.
  4. Word outline against instrumental music in the church.
  5. Zach Guess against instruments.