When God Pours Out Blessings, Part 6
Second, Pray to Thank the Lord
And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. (1 Chr. 29:13)
Dr. John MacArthur once ruefully commented on how those who don’t know God approach the American Thanksgiving holiday, in an article titled “All Dressed Up And No One To Thank.” In it he asked, “whom do you thank when there’s no one to be grateful to?” He rightfully points out that the holiday’s popularity in a secular society shows that even unbelievers “sense the need to say thanks.” We’ve already seen how praise and worship are called for when we see God’s wondrous deeds, both in Scripture and in our own lives. The fact that even those who don’t concede their duty to worship in this way still feel compelled to be grateful to something or someone should serve to remind us, who do have a knowledge of the truth, that we of all people dare not forget to move from praise to thanksgiving.
It’s no coincidence that this is just what David does. As he moves from one degree of praise to another, his worship shifts from doxology to thanksgiving: “And now we thank you, our God.” David recognized that this wondrous act of providence, not only showering riches upon his life’s work through the generosity of the Israelites but giving those Israelites a heart for that work, was not done in a vacuum or in the abstract. God didn’t just perform a miracle; he performed a miracle for Israel. This amazing river of wealth from a war-weary people was a gift God gave to the very people who made it, though their own generosity. And their wise king immediately perceived that what he had seen was a staggering act of care and love by the Covenant Lord to the people to whom he had graciously pledged himself.
Ingratitude is incompatible with the Christian faith and is, indeed, the very essence of unbelief: “they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him” (Rom. 1:21). Rather, we are commanded, “Be thankful” (Col. 3:15). It isn’t that thankfulness is any more appropriate or deserved when God provides in a momentous and spectacular fashion as opposed to in quiet and mundane ways, for even the air we breathe is a gift we do not deserve (Isa. 57:16). Rather, it’s in those times when God’s provision and care is so unmistakable that our lack of any excuse for gratitude is so evident as well.
Suggestions for prayer:
1. Take some time to review and recount the blessings God has given you, thanking God for them by name.
2. In what ways does ingratitude show itself in your life? Be honest, confess them and ask God’s pardon.
3. David thanks God for an embarrassment of riches given by the people. Are there things you need to thank God for that he’s given you through others?
More in Pastoral Blog
September 13, 2019Luther's Rose and Other Symbols in Stained Glass
August 12, 2019Sexuality, Gender and Christian Witness August 24 with Denny Burk
May 3, 2019Happy and Holy Christians