When God Pours Out Blessings, Part 5
First: Pray to Bless the Lord
Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. (1 Chr. 29:10-12)
What is our natural response to an encounter with surpassing beauty? Imagine setting your eyes on the soaring heights of the Rockies for the very first time, or seeing the sun touch the walls of the Grand Canyon. Think of looking out the window on your first airplane flight, or watching a shooting star against the backdrop of the Milky Way. Think of hearing a perfectly performed piece of orchestral music like Handel's "Messiah" and how the notes cause your feelings to soar. The human heart is designed to worship, and when presented with a display of God’s sovereign power and matchless creativity, we are instinctively drawn to wonder and awe.
This was, indeed, the response of David and his people to the beautiful and awe-inspiring provision God made for his Temple. Upon seeing the Israelites’ donations pour in for God’s house, upon seeing the wholehearted willingness of the people to make the Temple their own mission, “the people rejoiced,” and the king “also rejoiced greatly.” As we've seen, this outpouring of riches did not ultimately come from human sources, and David recognized this. No wonder that the very first thing he does in his rejoicing is to call the nation to prayer. And what a prayer it was: blessing God, calling him “father,” marvelling at his eternity, expounding his greatness and power and glory and victory and majesty. The king who wrote dozens of psalms is standing before his own people scrambling for words to express his amazement and his worship.
When God shows his power, he does it so that we may “declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous works among all the peoples!” Has God come down in power before you, O saint? Then praise him!
Suggestions for prayer:
1. Think about what it means for God to be eternal, timeless, unchanging, everlasting. How does that inform your praise?
2. David provides a “lexicon of praise” as he declares, “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty.” How many words can you think of to add to this list, to describe and honour God’s nature?
3. If God possesses the heavens and the earth and everything in them, including us, that means our very words are his possession. Are you praying as a loyal subject, as a servant of the King?
*Saturday, February 17, 2018 marked Calvary Grace Church's first anniversary as "homeowners" of our own building. To mark the anniversary we've chosen to meditate upon and pray through David's prayer in First Chronicles 29. The first post of this series can be found here, the second here, the third here, and the fourth here.