Faithlife Sermons

Thanksgiving and Praise

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings

Seeing the Lord strengthens us and leads us to serve from hearts of thanksgiving and praise.

Intro to Chronicles
Book of History
Primary audience: Compiled in post-exilic Israel when the remnant that returned to Jerusalem was fragile and in need of unity, strength, protection, and direction. (Nehemiah/Ezra)
Reveals the history of the nation from conception - Judges - United Kingdom - Schism - Decline - Captivity and Exile - Rebuilding
During the nomadic and early national history of the nation there was one divine artifact that made the journey with the Israelites: The Ark of the Covenant.
Map of Ark Journey
Ashdod (Dagon) -> Gath -> Ekron -> Beth-shemesh (on a cart with 2 oxen) 70 slain for looking in the ark -> Kiriath-jearim (20 years) -> David builds a tent to house the Ark in Jerusalem and leads a processional return (Uzzah touches and dies) -> Diverts to Obed-edom for 3 months -> finalizes return of the ark in the correct procession.
The Ark symbolized the presence of the Lord
Israel was to rightly long for the presence of the Lord, and so this event was a celebration of God’s presence in their nation.
In 1 Chr 13 all of Jerusalem is having a celebration led by King David - they place the ark on a cart and Uzzah reaches out to secure it from falling. God strikes him dead. Revealing that the Lord still requires complete obedience; and that his holiness and worship should be handled with carefulness and sobriety. David is angry at the Lord and re-routes the ark to Obed Edom for 3 months. However, God reminds David that his presence brings blessing to the humble and David re-thinks the procession for the arrival of the ark to Jerusalem (1 Chr. 15). This time the ark is carried correctly by the priests and Levites. This time David humbles himself by removing his outer garment, wearing the linen ephod and dancing before the Lord in the procession.
Compilation of Psalms
1, 2 Chronicles (4) David’s Psalm of Thanksgiving (16:7–36)

The psalm which follows is a psalm of thanksgiving. The psalm given here contains material found in three well-known psalms: Pss 105:1–15 (vv. 8–22); 96:1–13 (vv. 23–33); 106:1 (v. 34); and 106:47–48 (vv. 35–36).

1 Chronicles: An Introduction and Commentary iii. Prayer for Deliverance (16:34–36)

The whole psalm, therefore, is much more than an illustration of the post-exilic liturgical cultus (Michaeli, Myers) or an establishing of the identity of Jerusalem’s cultus.48 It is an impassioned plea for God to restore his own and his people’s identity in the Chronicler’s own generation by performing fresh acts of salvation.

Chronicles is a history compiled for Israel in exile - so the message of the Psalm included here is for a secondary context - like us. Because the Chronicler looked at this event in history and said “this is important for God’s people to remember,” we too, can see and affirm the importance of this psalm of praise. We should read; and respond in thankfulness to the Lord.
Illustration: Burning brush piles. Sometimes it is really difficult to get that fire going (wet brush, rain, wind, or spacing in your kindling). Worst youth activity ever… There are things that will cause that fire to burn white hot in seconds and continue to burn (weather, dry kindling, proper spacing, fuel to burn, etc...
In both the original story and the primary audience there was a need for a fire in a sense - the people needed their hearts to be stirred. I believe that the same need meets us this morning - our hearts need to be kindled toward a deep and responsive thankfulness to the Lord. (1 Chr. 6:4 “Invoke” or remind; bring to mind)
This Psalm is helpful for us in that it models the way in which life works with the Lord:

We must first see the Lord, then be strengthened by the Lord, and then go serve the Lord.

In the first few verses we find 4 themes in this Psalm that spark our praise to the Lord:
1) His name; 2) His works; 3) His strong presence; 4) His people
Look for these themes as we read together starting in vs. 8

The Name of the Lord

In vs. 1 we are to call upon the name of the Lord. In vv. 3, 10 & 35 we find that the name of the Lord is holy. In vs. 29 we see that His name deserves glory. The name is good because the name identifies the Lord.
Have you ever really liked a name because of who it belonged too? We see this often with big box movies or story lines.
I had a nurse who though our daughter Essie was names Elsa - I wondered how many little babies she’s seen in the last ten years named Elsa; a name that would have been relatively unheard of 20 years ago. The name has or lacks value because of who it belongs to.
This is the case with our God - His name is holy, glorious and worthy of our praise because it represents him. That is why he told Moses “I Am.” That is also why he gave Moses the command later to not use the name of the Lord in a vain way.
We must treasure the name of the Lord because it belongs to the one true God. Glory in his holy name.

The Works of the Lord

His works are wondrous (v.9, 12) and marvelous (v. 24). We are approaching a time of the year in which the word “wonder” will be used a lot. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” There is magic and wonder with the idea of gifts and snow and retail companies are going to promise all the wonder they can muster in order for you to give them your visa. And while there is a certain sense of wonder at Christmas (especially among our little ones), much of the wonder is manufactured. One thing that truly is wonderful is the reality of Jesus coming into this world. God became a man to redeem his fallen creation - this is truly wonderful and marvelous.
Think about these two words “wonderful” and “marvelous;” what do they mean? They are reactionary words - we wonder and marvel and we see the works of the Lord. Wondering and marveling press us deeper into our relationship with the Lord; like a magnate that draws us to him.
Yet some times we could care less about the work of the Lord. Sometimes there is no wonder, sometimes we marvel more at sports scores, media trends, likes and follows, news (weather its factual or not), shows, youtube celebrities, gossip, others bad decisions, the list goes on.
We must source our sense of wonder in the works of the Lord - that is what David and the Chronicler are trying to express.
What are the works of the Lord in this passage? Primarily they are his judgments. (vv. 12, 13, 33) We might think that the judgment of the Lord is not something to rejoice in; but if we think that way we are thinking wrong. The judgment of God is a good thing. It has massive consequences for the damned and it has beautiful results for the redeemed, but his judgments are good! They are so good in this passage that even the trees sing for joy when the Lord comes to judge the earth (33).
J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were contemporaries who wrote fictional stories inspired by the truths of scripture. Both of them include talking, living trees in their stories. Whether they were the Ents or the Driads the trees moved and talk and sang. In this passage we either see hyperbole or a reference to the way creation should be - but either way we know that the point is that the judgments of God are good and that we must give that reality its appropriate focus.
We must remember (v.12) the judgment of the Lord. The hearts of those who seek the Lord will rejoice and the hearts of those who hate the Lord will be destroyed.
Another thing we find connected to the works of the Lord is our responsibility as the people of God to proclaim his works to the world around us - we must tell (vv. 9, 23) In fact, that is one of the reasons this song was song - it was a national proclamation of the goodness of God’s judgments! Uzzah was killed by God 3 months ago - and now the nation is proclaiming the goodness of God’s works and judgments.
We must praise the Lord for his wondrous works.

The Strong Presence of the Lord

I searched for “Lord” and “strength” in the whole bible. (not including strong, or other variations) and came up with 94 verses; mostly from the Psalms. There were two main themes in these verses that spoke of the Lord being our strength or the strength of His people. First; the reminder that he alone is our strength. Secondly, we must seek him for strength. This parallels perfectly the text we are in today which says in vs. 11: “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!
There are many times in this life where you and I will need strength. That strength does not come from within us. That strength comes from the Lord. But if you are distant from the Lord; living apart from his will or apart from a relationship with him then that strength will almost seem to you like a sham. It is not. It is the only thing that can give hope and peace in this life and you and I continually need the strength of the Lord.
You need the strength of the Lord.
Don’t be like the stubborn 4 year old who can’t tie their shoe, but refuses help from their parent or teacher. They say “don’t help me; I don’t need it; I can do it...” but they can’t. They need the ability of another. You and I are in a much worse and limited condition; we need the strength and ability of another. We have that in the work of Christ. Are you acknowledging your need for the strength of the Lord?
You must seek the presence of the Lord.
Jesus promised his presence to his people. He said that he will be with us; he will never leave us; he will never forsake us. The spirit of God dwells within his people and if you are a child of God you know that the Lord is with you. If you do not know the Lord; you can - and you too can know the encouraging hope that comes from the presence of God in our hearts as his people.

The People of the Lord

In a time when nations and religions were synonymous, people typically chose their gods. However, the one true God has chosen his people. We see the reminder of this truth in vs. 13. Just as Jacob was the chosen one of God to become Israel, so all of the Lord’s people are his chosen ones. The final theme that we see in this Psalm to spark our thanksgiving and praise is that the Lord has chosen his people. This choosing was made evident in Abraham and throughout his generations to the Nation of Israel. Beyond we see the hand of God reaching out to all the peoples of the world so that we might declare the glories of the Lord to all peoples (v. 24).
God has chosen his people
God’s people declare his glory among the nations and the broader peoples of the world
God works through the testimony of his people to spread his fame, glory, and build his family globally.
If you are a part of the family of God you have much to be thankful for; God has chosen you. If you are not yet redeemed, saved, born again, you can be - you simply must respond in obedience to the call of God on your life. Maybe you are thinking God has been working and I have not been responding - can I urge you to respond to that call?
So we have seen the Lord, now we must consider being strengthened by the Lord, interestingly this is also a work that he does. We do not strengthen ourselves, the Lord strengthens us.

Covenants (13-22)

There are times in scripture when the Name, Works, Presence and People of God all come together for God’s glory and our good and these times often result in covenants. In fact God has continuously been in covenant with his people and this is a strengthening reality.
Covenant is an agreement between God and his people. God is the initiator and the keeper of the covenant - so we can trust in these arrangements as sure promises of how God will act on behalf of his people for his own glory. Starting with Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, and on to the Church; God meets with man and promises the blessing of knowing him. This is an eternal covenant. (v.17)
This particular psalm highlights the promise of a land. (v.18) This was the promise of a place; the promise of belonging. In a physical sense this covenant reached its pinnacle during the reign of David but we still look for the ultimate fulfillment in heaven with the Lord.

Salvation (23-27)

The covenants clearly lead us to the topic of salvation; for man to enter into a covenant with God means salvation will result. This is not works based but is supplied by grace. For an exile the promise of land meant relief; a people, a national family, and centralized religion; these things were saving blessings for Abraham as a nomad, Israel during the exodus, Joshua during the conquest, David as the first godly king, the exiles dispersed, and salvation still holds the promise of a secure future and all the beauties of the land for eternity for the people of God.
So, we are called to sing and tell of the salvation of the Lord. The salvation of God’s people produces evangelism (vv.23-24)
The salvation of the Lord contrasts starkly against the worthless gods of the people: no other pursuit can save. Understand that no money, effort, fame, or pursuit can save you other than the one true God.

Response (28-34)

This psalm lays out the true nature of worship - we see God and then we respond.
Ascribe (Give) v.28-29
Sacrifice v.29b
Worship v.29b
Tremble v.30
Are you able to respond to the Lord? The interesting thing is we are always responding to the Lord … How are you responding today?
Vs. 35 as a parenthesis to those in exile
**Address praise for those who are in the midst of challenge. The text addresses this conundrum in vv. 34-36 and the prayer for deliverance.
Though your exile is temporal; God is eternal. (vs. 36)
Say Amen - God is looking for your participation as his people.
Just as a spark can fan a consuming fire, so the person of our God ignites our heart to a life consumed in thanksgiving and praise. This is not just for November; it is for all of life. It is not just during the good times, but also during the difficult. We must see the Lord; be strengthened by the Lord, and serve the Lord with lives of thankfulness and praise.
Related Media
Related Sermons