How David leveraged viral popularity for the glory of God
3 min read
So now, O Lord God, make this promise you have made about your servant and his family a permanent reality. Do as you promised, so you may gain lasting fame…2 Samuel 7:26-27
What do young people most want out of life these days? Adventure? Wealth? Opportunities to help others? To make a difference in the world?
To the surprise of many, a series of studies several years ago indicated that it is fame that younger generations want the most. It seems that to have millions of followers is now more coveted than even having millions of dollars. Of course, lots of followers may also mean lots of dollars, but even if it doesn’t, it’s okay, as long as they’re famous.
The advent of the internet and social media surely has much to do with this phenomenon. Every day we are blitzed with depictions of how good famous folks have it. By all appearances, achieving that kind of status is the ultimate answer to life’s problems. This false idea leaves us onlookers craving the same sort of stamp of significance over our own lives.
And the human quest for validation goes on.
Then there’s David. You know you’re famous when you’re known only by your first name. No last name needed in his case. He was the original, the very first David. Talk about fame. The notoriety of this guy, who lived 3,000 years ago, has only increased with time.
Actually, God told David beforehand that he would be highly famous. In a package of promises that God made to David, known as the Davidic Covenant, he said,
“…And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth” (2 Samuel 7:9).
David’s fame, in other words, was God-given. It was by the grace of God that David became arguably one of the most famous people ever. It was God who elevated him. He didn’t do it all by himself. David didn’t get there on his own.
No one does.
But what is really interesting is what David chose to do with his highly recognizable brand. Realizing that God had given him this incredible platform of influence, remarkably, David chose to use it for God’s glory. Rather than consume it upon himself, David leveraged his fame in such a way to shift the attention away from himself and toward the character of God. In other words, he flipped it.
Why? Because David knew the only one who could truly live up to all the hype was God himself.
After God promised David that his name would be known, David did not say “Yes! I’m going to be famous!” Instead, he said to the Lord, “Do as you promised, so you may gain lasting fame…” (2 Samuel 7:26).
Because David knew the only one who could truly live up to all the hype was God himself.
If you’ve ever spent much time in David’s poetry in the Psalms, you know often he spoke of the trustworthiness of God. He was absolutely taken with the steadfast love and faithfulness of the Lord, so much that he couldn’t stop talking about it, writing about it, singing about it, etc.
David’s platform was huge and he used it for good…he used it to help people come to know God.
Fame is great, but sanctified fame is even better. Regardless of the scale of your influence today – small, medium, or large – use it for the glory of the One who gave it to you in the first place. This is the way it’s supposed to be.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.