2003-06-09 - Thankfulness
Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.
\On Saturday a friend and I overhauled my kitchen. We got out the stuff that was redundant and not being used and brought up from the basement the things that would be useful. It was a lot of work, but well worth it. I expressed my appreciation to her for her efforts, ideas, help, and willingness to do what I could not have done myself. As we were having dinner and I was returning grace before we ate, I thanked the Lord in my prayer for all the wonderful kitchen equipment I have. It was amazing to me how many times, as we went through things, that I found myself saying, "I had no idea I had that." So I thanked the Lord for His kindness and provisions well above what I need.
It is a small thing really, but it is fitting for us to thank God for His kindness to us, even in small things. It is fitting for us to praise Him. Praise and thanksgiving should be prevalent in our dealings with the Lord. Praise and thanksgiving glorify God. We must remember Psalm 50:23, "He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God." I would like to give two examples, one from Scripture and one from history, of how praise that honors God seems to move Him to action.
The first is the dedication of Solomon's temple in the early chapters of 2 Chronicles. The ark had been brought in. Many prayers had been made. Sacrifices were offered. But these things were not what garnered acceptance from God. God made His glory known when the singers and players began with one accord to make one sound of praise to the Lord. Then the glory of the Lord descended and filled the temple. We see this in 2 Chronicles 5:13, 14, "in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and glorify the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the Lord saying, 'He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting,' then the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God."
The example from history is the story of a Christian man who was shipwrecked on a desolate island. All his ship companions perished in the waves before they reached the island. He spent many days fasting and in prayer that God would deliver him. However, he was not rescued. At some point he began to think of the mercy of God in keeping him alone safe from the sea which had claimed all who were with him. He resolved to spend the day in praise and thanksgiving for the kindness of God in this and other things in his life. Before the day ended a ship arrived, rescued him and he was restored to his family, friends, and country.
My point is that praise to the Lord seems to move God's hand. We should be thankful for the kindness that God has shown us. And it seems that praise is something that God is pleased with and moves Him to benevolence. Just as I thanked my friend for her kindness in helping me out, so also I must thank God for His mercies towards me. Thankfulness is an attitude that we all should emulate for God and others have been good to us. His mercies, especially, are beyond anything we deserve. Our proper response is praise.
Soli Deo Gloria,