Thursday, November 18, 2021

         David was one of the largest figures in the history of Israel.  He ranks near Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses.  He came to the throne as a shepherd after God had rejected Saul as Israel’s king.  He presided over a golden age in Israel’s history.  He was a musician and often soothed an edgy and anxious Saul.  We have David to thank for the book of Psalms.  The Psalms are often one of the most beloved books of the Bible for many people.  God inspired this shepherd-turned-king to write many of the Psalms that we read and enjoy today. 
            In Psalm 23, David drew from his experiences as a shepherd to teach us that the Lord God is our Good and Great Shepherd.  In Psalm 121, he calls us to lift up our eyes to the hills.  In Psalm 46, he tells us to be still and know the Lord is God.  In 2 Samuel 22, David composed and sang a lengthy song of praise to the Lord.  He wrote in 22:2-4, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation.  He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent people you save me.  I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies.”  
            David sang of the Lord as His rock, fortress, deliverer, refuge, shield, horn of salvation, stronghold and savior.  What a list!  We get the sense that David was so overcome by thankfulness and gratitude that he did not know exactly when and where to stop with his praise and joy!  His praise gushed and rushed forward.  The entire chapter, 2 Samuel 22, is worth your time and reading for an example of what praise and gratitude look like.  He consistently sang of God’s provisions, victories, faithfulness and deliverance.  David never tired of opportunities to thank the Lord.
            You may have never written a poem or song that praises the Lord God but you certainly could.  Putting your thankfulness into written form is a good exercise for anyone.  And now, less than a week from Thanksgiving, is as good of a time as any to do so.  For David, God alone was his vision.  He wrote, “You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light.”  When we take time to be grateful, our vision often improves.  Our darkness turns to light.  We begin to see blessings we had forgotten or even overlooked.  God blesses us by showing us many blessings that we have missed or failed to see.
            We must also remember that David knew the forgiveness of God firsthand.  We all recall the time in David’s life where he sinned with Bathsheba and made matters even worse by arranging for the death of her husband Uriah.  If we think we have sinned beyond the grace of God, we would do well to remember David and the grace that God showed him.  We can be abundantly grateful for grace, second chances, new starts and God’s faithfulness in forgiving us when we acknowledge our sins before Him.  We may be slow to forgive others but God certainly is not slow to forgive us.  He showers us with His grace.  Indeed, the example of God’s lavish forgiveness should inspire us to be generous with the way and haste that we forgive others.
            As you read 2 Samuel 22, may David’s words be an encouragement to you in your
expressions of thanksgiving.  Take time to offer a multitude of praise and thanks to the Lord as you consider what He has done for you.  Be generous with your thanksgiving.  David’s son, Solomon, wrote about the destiny of a generous man in Proverbs 11:25.  Solomon said, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”  Generosity and gratitude always return to us.  When we are generous with our gratitude, we will find that it is returned to us. 
We invite you to be with us on Sunday for Bible study, worship and to celebrate our Harvest of Thanks Day.  If you have not worshipped with us personally in a while, this Sunday is a good time to do so.  We hope to see you and we would love to welcome you back home.  This coming Sunday, we will collect ready-to-eat canned pasta meals and ready-to-eat canned soup for Esther’s heart.  This Sunday is a one-time only collection.  Have a great Thursday!

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