Worship at your lowest and worship at your highest

Lessons from King David: failing and winning

by Emily Minto


When we read David’s story we see a man who did great things and terrible things. The same man who conquered Goliath to save his people also murdered a man to save himself. The same man who lent his full emotions in worship to God also fell into temptation and committed adultery.  But when we read the Psalms we see that David wrote out of both his high times and his low times. He didn’t wait until he felt ‘good’ or ‘righteous’ enough before singing to God. He worshipped in both failure and victory.

When David stuffed up monumentally he still came before God in worship. Psalm 51 was written in relation to his sin of committing adultery with Bathsheba. See how he brings all his guilt and shame before God, trusting in God’s ability to handle his brokenness:

“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love.

Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.

Wash me clean from my guilt.

Purify me from my sin.

For I recognise my rebellion; it haunts me day and night...

...Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;

then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.

Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you…” (NLT)

(Read the whole Psalm 51 here)

When David did a terrible thing, he ran to God and not from Him. He came to God when he was failing, and worshipped.

In contrast, Psalm 18 was sung on the day the Lord rescued David from his enemies and from Saul. He sung this psalm in celebration: 

“I love you, Lord; you are my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my saviour...

...I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,

and he saved me from my enemies…

…For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;

I will sing praises to your name...” (NLT)

(Read the whole Psalm 18 here).

When David was going well, he ran to God and gave Him the praise and honour. He came to God when he was winning, and worshipped.

In every season, David worshipped God and looked to Him. He chased after the heart and character of God, and found it to be unchanging in every circumstance. In his low days and his high days, he could worship the One whose name was, and is and always will be the highest name of all.


Emily is a songwriter, worship leader and the worship pastor at Redhill Church. Read more about Emily in her previously published blog post 'Life as a Worshipper: My Story'.