Saturday, November 07, 2009

Thanksgiving Verses - Part 7

In the following passage we find David giving thanks to God upon the coronation of his son, Solomon. This appears to take the form of a prayer. David begins by praising God, then turns to thanking God even while continuing to praise him. David also shows humility, confessing his low estate before God. David prays like a Calvinist, asking God to "prepare their heart unto thee: and give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart," something that the non-Calvinist cannot seem to consistently request.

It is also important to note that David acknowledges that the pilgrimage and sojourning were not over even for the Israelites already in Canaan. David looked - like Abraham his father, as Hebrews tells us - for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Sometimes folks who wish to worship men make hay of the expression "And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king." Leaving aside the possibility that the phrase could be referring to God as king (David, after all, had noted that "thou reignest over all"), the act of the people is neither commended as such nor emphasized in the text, such that we would think that religious worship of human kings was something to be followed by believers. After all, David had not requested any worship of himself, but instead commanded the people: " Now bless the LORD your God."

1 Chronicles 29:10-25
Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said,

Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.

Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.

But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.

O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own. I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.

O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee: and give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.

And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king. And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings unto the LORD, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel: and did eat and drink before the LORD on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the LORD to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest.

Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him. And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king. And the LORD magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.

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