The seriousness of thanking the Lord is emphasized throughout the Holy Word. In 1 Chronicles 29:10-14, we read a message that King David delivered to the nation of Israel, as he gathered materials which would be used to build the temple in Jerusalem. In this discourse, he explained the significance of showing thanks to God through, both, our words and actions. He used this message to encourage the people’s giving of the materials needed to build and maintain the temple. This text is, probably, the clearest expression of the absolute necessity for the giving of thanks to God.
As we enter into the Thanksgiving season, let us take time to look at this text and learn more about the wonderful blessing and necessity it is to say “Therefore O God, We Thank Thee”
1Chr 29:10-14 (KJV)
10) Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed [be] thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. 11) Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. 12) Both riches and honour [come] of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand [is] power and might; and in thine hand [it is] to make great, and to give strength unto all. 13) Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. 14) But who [am] I, and what [is] my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things [come] of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.
Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed [be] thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.
David’s message that he is about to deliver is a message of “blessing” to Jehovah. The idea of a blessing is a message that produces submission, appreciation and love on the part of the hearers. This was the three-fold result of King David’s declaration. It produced in the nation of Israel a spirit of:
1. submission to the desires of the Lord for their lives, 2. appreciation for all the wonderful works the Lord has done on their behalf and 3. love for their Lord as their Creator, King, Father and Redeemer.
Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:
First, David emphasizes several different attributes of Jehovah that had been on display in His workings among the people of Israel…
1. greatness – His superiority over all the gods and authorities of this world. 2. power – His strength excels over all the powerful ones of the natural and spirit world 3. glory – He is beautiful in the sight of others. He is always just, fair, honest, kind … the list is endless. 4. victory – Literally, this Hebrew word of origin is translated “He glitters from afar”. It is describing the awards and payments received by ones who have been victorious in battle or athletic contests. The idea is that He has won so many victories that, as He carries His awards, He stands out from all others as He glitters from a long distance away. 5. majesty – His magnificence of being sets Himself apart from all others. Please notice the first four attributes taught us He is set apart from all others based upon His abilities and authority. It is this final description that declares that His superiority is also based upon His form and appearance.
for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
The result of the five above attributes is that Jehovah is the possessor (“thine is the kingdom”) and the controller (“thou art exalted as head above all”) of all creation. This includes the natural creation (heavenly bodies, earth, plants, animals, mankind etc.) and the spiritual creation (angels, demons, other heavenly beings etc.) as well.
Both riches and honour [come] of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand [is] power and might; and in thine hand [it is] to make great, and to give strength unto all.
Now we read of all the benefits that we receive from Jehovah…
1. riches – wealth, material possessions 2. honour – weight, significance, consideration 3. power – authority, rulership 4. might – physical strength, ability 5. to make great – to cause to excel in any area 6. to give strength – to conquer, to be victorious
Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
After giving a three-fold reason we owe Jehovah our praise (His person and attributes, His possession and control of all things, and finally, His blessings and care given to us) David now explains our indebtedness to “thank” and praise Him.
What is meant by to “thank” Him? Literally this Heb word means to “hold out the hand”. This helps us to understand the Biblical concept of the giving of thanks. Scripturally, when we give thanks we are doing several things…
1. we are acknowledging our need of Him (much like a baby holds out their hands to their mother asking to be picked up and carried.) Scriptural thanksgiving involves in recognition and proclamation of our great need of Him in every area of our life… “in Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28) 2. we are pointing the attention to Him (much like a person holds out their hand pointing to an object that they want others to notice) Much like John the Baptist directing the attention of His followers to Christ by saying “Behold the lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). 3. we are sending out our message of His goodness to us (much like we are handing over an object to someone else by extending our hand.) This is much like the role of the Apostle Paul who handed the message of what Christ had done on his behalf to a lost and dying world. “…I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received,..” (1Cor 15:1)
To summarize the above, to give thanks to our Lord involves… submitted to His will and motivated by appreciation and love, we tell others about what He has done for us, and how badly we need Him in our lives.
What is meant by praising Him? It carries with it the idea of causing others to give Him their attention and respect.
The giving of thanks and praise go hand in hand…. The natural result of giving Him thanks is to give Him the praise He deserves. When we share with others His workings and our need of Him we are naturally pointing their attention and reverence to Him!
But who [am] I, and what [is] my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things [come] of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.
Finally, King David recognizes and proclaims that the ability to thank Him is only through the gracious intervention of God on our behalf. The capability to thank and praise the Lord comes only through His intervention. Let me walk us through a bit of this idea.
Without His intervention…
1. If He does not give us our physical life…. We cannot work in our midst here on earth. 2. If He does not open our sin blinded eyes… we cannot see, nor understand, His person and attributes. 3. If He does not give us a mind capable of understanding … we cannot recognize His intervention in our lives and His working on our behalf. 4. If He does not give us a physical voice …. we cannot verbally thank Him and share Him with others.
The list goes on and on… EVERYTHING involved with us giving Him thanks is totally dependent upon His enabling us to do so.
David presented his case logically by explaining:
1. First, the supremacy of Jehovah that is based upon His attributes and person (vs 11a) 2. Second, His ownership and control that is a result of His attributes and person (vs 11b) 3. Third, the recognition that all things flow by/through Him due to His authority and control (vs 12) 4. Fourth, the logical need to thank Him for His blessings since they all flow from Him (vs 13) 5. Fifth, the recognition that even the ability to thank Him comes as an undeserved grace from Him (vs 14)
The conclusion we must come to…. He is a wonderfully gracious, kind and loving Lord that gives His children the ability to thank and praise Him for His workings among us. Let’s all be sure that we take advantage of this wonderful privilege and appreciate all He has done for us and then give thanks to the Lord by telling others about Him and all he has done for us!
And, finally, just as the Lord blesses us and shows His love to us continually, let us remember to give Him thanks not just during the Thanksgiving season but throughout the year.
May The Lord Continue To Bless You As You Seek The Truths Found In His Word.
You may also like the 2010 SIH Thanksgiving Devotional: http://wp.me/pU88A-a7
Also for shorter devotionals take a look at the SIH “A Month of Thankfulness” 30 Day Devotional Series. The posting for Day 1: http://wp.me/pU88A-1rR