Peace if possible. Truth at all costs. ~ Martin Luther

Glorying in David’s God – Psalm 78:72

King David“So he (David) shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.” (Psalm 78:72)

So often this verse has been used to focus on the 2 needs of leadership … heart and hands – integrity and skill. A valid point, I’m sure.

But Psalm 78 is not about human leadership in any sense. It’s not about David. This glorious Psalm is all about God’s mighty faithfulness to rebellious Israel. It’s a reminder to every successive generation to look back and see God’s hand in history and remember HIM.

After all of Israel’s wandering they should not have still even existed, but for the mercy and longsuffering of God. Yet He established them in the promised land. Still they rebelled. They clamoured prematurely for a king, and God gave them their desire – almost to their ruin. But then, at last, He gave them a man after His own heart. David’s reign became a high point; a brief moment of heaven on earth. Not unblemished, but still great enough to be a foreshadowing of the coming reign of the Son of David – when Jesus shall establish His kingdom.

So the Psalm is all about God. HIS faithfulness. HIS purposes. HIS Kingdom.  And we lift this verse out of it’s glorious context to write lightweight paperbacks about our ideas on leadership? Self-help chaff.

Let David only be a pointer to the Power behind his throne.

If David has any integrity of heart – it was fashioned in him by the hand of God. For in David (that is in his flesh) “dwells no good thing” (Romans 7:18).  In this regard he is a man like any other.  But for the grace of God, David would have been all Bathshebas and Uriahs.

If David has any skill to lead – it was granted him by the hand of God. We are but fools until He grants His wisdom. The blind leading the blind.  David’s reign is a fleeting glimpse of Theocracy – THAT is the greatness of his moment in the sun … GOD led His people through a surrendered king.

SO, remember David fondly, BUT glory only in His God. And let it be the same for every man that He uses.  This is what David himself would want. Hear him cry out across the years, “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth.” (Psalm 115:1)




  1. Excellent! And an urgently needed reminder in a day when so much in the church, and especially with leadership, is man-centred – it’s a very much ego-centric scene. Coming from Wales I have been very interested in the history of the many revivals in Wales. In one of them God extensively used a man named David Morgan. No relation, by the way! An old minister in one of the churches where David Morgan preached, and where there was a great move of God, wrote in his diary of one particular evening when “the service was terrible. So near was the Revivalist to his God, his face shone like that of an angel.” On the way home, walking together with God’s servant late at night to where he was staying, the old minister records that for miles he dared not break the silence, such was the awesome sense of God with them. Then he ventured to say, “Didn’t we have blessed meetings, Mr. Morgan?” David Morgan replied: “Yes,” – and after a pause added: “The Lord would give us great things, if He only could trust us.” “What do you mean?” inquired the old minister. His reply was this – and so fitting with this current article: “If He could trust us not to steal the glory for ourselves.” The diary entry recorded that the midnight air rang with David Morgan’s anguished cry, at the top of his voice: “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us; but unto THY NAME GIVE GLORY.” (Psalm 115:1) Enough said! Please God, HELP US!