First Off…read Psalm 30!
Like so many psalms before it (and even after it) Psalm 30 is simply a psalm of praise – and we see that as this exaltation feeling is not only at the beginning and the end – but also in the middle and everywhere else. And if your Bible is anything like mine then under the title “Psalm 30” you also read that this psalm is a song for the “dedication of the temple.” Which means that it would have been sung, and even led, at the temple…with possibly thousands and thousands of people. If not more.
Imagine that for a second. David has gathered before the temple thousands upon thousands of worshippers, musicians and everyone else…and he leads them in this song and proclamation of how good God is and that they should all praise and worship him…but then…with everyone listening to him, waiting on what he will say next…he is lead to confession. IN FRONT OF EVERYONE!!!
- David did something…(we aren’t sure what)…that angered God (vs 5)
- David felt “secure” …and probably got a little arrogant and did something sinful – so God “hid his face” in response (vs 6-7)
- David did something that possibly should have caused God to wipe him off the face of the earth…sending him to the pits of hell (vs 8)
I stand in front of a congregation week in and week out, sharing with them the love of God as given to us and seen throughout Scripture. I speak of what it looks like to repent and turn to God, I speak of being filled by the Holy Spirit when we allow Him to use us for His purposes…and many times, as we work through texts, I do this by giving examples from my own past and struggles. But even for me there are some things that I cannot imagine sharing…and there are some things I’ve shared that required me to muster up more courage than I ever thought was possible. But why? Why would I hide my sins from others? If God knows them…if I do them knowing God knows them and sees them…and if they are sins I committed … why is it that embarrassment leads me to silence?
Here is David – standing before the people of God – expecting them to respond to all the goodness and grace and love that He pours out…and he is leading them IN that praise…and he does so by sharing with them some of that which has hindered his relationship with his Maker. David fully understands not only who God is (we see that in the text) but that in order for people to be “helped” in their worship it requires him to be authentic with them as well.
What’s really fascinating to me is that we know this. If you have spent any time with ANYONE EVER then you know that the best and authentic relationships come when people let their guards down and show who they truly are. This is really hard for me. Not only as the type of person I am but the area of ministry I am in. Some people like it when a pastor shares personal information… others do not. It’s the nature of the beast.
But I think we can learn something here. In this “Call to Praise” David knows who he is surrounded by and with…but it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t care because it’s not about them and what they feel about him in his confession.. Yes, he’s trying to bring all those around him to worship God and do so because the Lord has turned “wailing into dancing” not only for him but for others…but it’s not about them. It’s about God. It’s about HIS relationship with God – and if he can help others in their walk, in their faith, by sharing and living it out in his? Then that’s what he’ll do. We even get a glimpse of this when David returns with the Ark of the Lord (2 Sam 6) and as this massive procession is entering the city he is dancing and leaping with every ounce of might he can muster…and Saul’s daughter comes out and is simply appalled by what she saw him do – for this is NOT what a king does! And David’s response? “I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this…” (2 Sam 6:21-22)
We are communal people – we simply are. When God created Adam he saw that he was “good”…but he knew that Adam could be better. So he made Eve. Which to me means that we were created for relationships. Authentic, relationships. I would argue authentic GODLY relationships. With God and us…with God and each other. And those can only happen when we allow people to BE people. Allowing them to sing when they need to sing, confess when they need to confess, dance when they need to dance, cry when they need to cry.
I guess what I’m saying…is that I like what David does. I like how he is authentic in his worship. That he is leading by example. And if it helps others…if his sins help others see their own sins and acknowledge them before God in their own relationship? Then so be it.
I think ultimately we become better people and have healthier relationships with each other AND God when we stop trying to hide certain things. My relationship with God can be messy…and I’m pretty sure yours is too – so let’s take a page from David and agree to share in the messiness of faith together.