David’s Song of Thanks

Key Verse: “Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.”
—I Chronicles 16:8

Selected Scripture:
I Chronicles 16:1-36

DAVID’S DETERMINATION to bring the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem was intended to motivate Israel to a closer relationship with God. Their history of seeking after other gods, and of ignoring the Lord’s instructions had caused David great distress on behalf of the nation. He now was hopeful that the presence of the ark would make Israel repent of their prior sins and praise God once again.

After placing the ark in the tent he had prepared for it, and upon offering burnt offerings and peace offerings to God, David blessed the people “in the name of the Lord,” and gave to each one a portion of bread, meat and wine. With their minds thus directed toward God, David appointed Levites to minister before the ark, and musicians and singers to give praise through song. (I Chron. 16:1-7) Our Key Verse begins this beautiful psalm of praise, calling upon Israel to give thanks for the many deeds God had performed for them. In its entirety, this song tells of God’s wondrous works among the nations on behalf of Israel.—vss. 8-36

Some might suggest that God has eternally cast off Israel for their iniquities. However, we would direct their attention to this psalm, which comforts Israel and repeats the Lord’s everlasting care for them. Such is summarized in the sentiments of the closing verses, which state, “O¬†give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for ever and ever.”—vss. 34-36

Many of Israel’s experiences were for the Christian’s admonition, and we see in this account of David’s song lessons for those called to be God’s people during the present age. (I Cor. 10:11) Israel was called God’s chosen people frequently in the Old Testament. (Exod. 19:5,6; Ps. 147:19,20; Amos 3:2) One especially beautiful verse in this regard is found in these words: “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”—Deut. 7:6

Compare these words with the statement of the Apostle Peter to followers of Christ: “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God.” (I Pet. 2:9,10) In many respects Peter’s words mirror David’s psalm included in today’s lesson. The Apostle Paul, in fact, declares that Israel’s Law Covenant arrangement was intended to lead them to Christ, who became the seed of Abraham. (Gal. 3:15-24) Then the invitation to be “in Christ,” and become part of the seed class, was opened to Jews and Gentiles alike.—vss. 25-29

Let us be determined, as David was, to encourage each other as fellow spiritual Israelites to praise our loving Heavenly Father and his Son, Christ Jesus. Let us likewise give thanks continually for the wondrous works of our God. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”—I Thess. 5:18