David Gives Thanks
(1 Chronicles 17.16-27)
18David went into the tent he had set up for the sacred chest. Then he sat there and prayed:
Lord All-Powerful, my family and I don't deserve what you have already done for us, 19and yet you have promised to do even more. Is this the way you usually treat people? 20I am your servant, and you know my thoughts, so there is nothing more that I need to say. 21You have done this wonderful thing, and you have let me know about it, because you wanted to keep your promise.
22Lord All-Powerful, you are greater than all others. No one is like you, and you alone are God. Everything we have heard about you is true. 23 And there is no other nation on earth like Israel, the nation you rescued from slavery in Egypt to be your own. You became famous by using great and wonderful miracles to force other nations and their gods out of your land, so your people could live here. 24You have chosen Israel to be your people forever, and you have become their God.
25And now, Lord God, please do what you have promised me and my descendants. 26Then you will be famous forever, and everyone will say, “The Lord God All-Powerful rules Israel, and David's descendants are his chosen kings.” 27After all, you really are Israel's God, the Lord All-Powerful. You've told me that you will let my descendants be kings. That's why I have the courage to pray to you like this, even though I am only your servant.
28Lord All-Powerful, you are God. You have promised me some very good things, and you can be trusted to do what you promise. 29Please bless my descendants and let them always be your chosen kings. You have already promised, and I'm sure that you will bless my family forever.
What is God up to? Why does he do what he does? What is his purpose?
David knew. God’s desire and the purpose of his divinely orchestrated action was to be glorified. That’s a nice word – glorified – but what does it mean?
Someone once gave me an illustration that helped me appreciate and better understand the concept of “glorifying God.” Every four years we celebrate one of the Olympic games – either summer or winter. At these games, men and women compete for gold medals which are awarded to the individuals or teams who outperform the competition.
When they are awarded the gold medal for any particular competition, the athletes are positioned on the highest level of podium while their national anthem is played. It would take a really unobservant person to ask with any sincerity, “Who won the competition?” No, the winner is obvious as they are glorified to the spectators in the stands and those watching through the media.
In the same way, God is seeking glorification. He wants his creation to recognize him as the creator, sustainer and lover of the universe. He wants us to see him as the person standing on the highest podium and whose anthem is playing.
David knew! And in this text we can claim along with the king of Israel that he is our God and there is no one other like him!
You alone are God. You alone are my God. May all I do help contribute to your glorification so that others who I love may make this same claim!