David: A Model Musiciana meditation by Charles Hulin IV (2004)I Samuel 16:14-23
this passage, David is brought to Saul to give him relief
from an evil spirit
by playing music for him. The passage includes a list of
qualities that David
possessed. Scholars suggest that this list is mostly the
resume of a future
king, but I think it can also serve as a list of qualities
that we would do well
to develop as Christian musicians.
1. David was skillful in playing. It was this skill that
brought him to the
attention of Saul and earned him a place in Saul’s life,
heart, and court.
2. He was willing to serve others by sharing his talent.
This would have been
how Saul’s servant knew about his skill.
3. He was a person of valor. Artists need courage to reveal
their visions and
creations - to be sincere and vulnerable.
4. He was a warrior. Musicians need the discipline and
devotion of the warrior
on a daily basis. In performance we also need to steel
ourselves against the
chaotic and negative forces that work to undermine our
ability to accomplish our
mission. Often these forces attempt to seize control from
5. He was prudent in speech. How easy it is to mar the
message of our uplifting
music with a few careless words.
6. He was a person of good presence. According to one
commentary, this probably
means he was good looking or charismatic. But the term
"good presence" is a
fortunate one in that it can suggest that our presence in a
situation might be a
stabilizing factor tending towards righteousness.
Ultimately, how we look has
nothing to do with the true goodness of our presence.
7. The Lord was with him. This seems like the most
important thing. It is the
thing that empowers all the rest. I would think our most
important work comes
from an awareness of our relationship with Christ.