For the July 4th weekend we had a house full of family and several holiday celebrations that included, sometimes together, all my kids, their hubbies, and all grandkids and even our family matriarch and patriarch. I am enjoying the quiet now, but put together, God gave me an extraordinary family time with great family love.
There is no bragging here, but I am a rich man. Any boasting I might sound like I am doing is for God and answered prayers for my family. That’s what glory does—it exults/boasts/shouts about God.
Psalm 21 gives us a model for giving thanks (and boasting) when God answers our prayers. A word of caution: To be unthankful is characteristic of unbelievers who reject God’s overtures and kindnesses. Take, for example, Romans 1 and the indictment for rejecting God’s wooing in creation without worship or thanksgiving (1:21). Or, the explicit word in Romans 2:4, “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” I know, in context this is written for unrepentant people without Christ in their hearts. But sometimes it is terribly so of we who claim to be His followers.
Here is a primer for seeing our rich life and for giving thanks for it. First, David acknowledges to God He has provided a rich life, daily provision, and deliverances. In my Psalter, I have underlined the sixteen times King David shouts out to God with “you” or “your.” The Apostle Paul said to an unbelieving crowd, “He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things” (Acts 17:25). David has experienced God’s strength, salvation, and gifts over and again and says so. I’m betting you and I would grow weary if we listed all the riches God has given us.
Second, David is especially glad for the joy of God’s presence (v. 6). The “withness” of God in His own is in startling opposition to the aloof, disinterested “man upstairs” we regularly hear about.
Third, David trusts in the LORD because of the “steadfast love…of the Most High” (v. 7). This awakens us to God’s powerful actions on our behalf—ever faithful, good, merciful, and gracious to us. Whatever God does is right, and whatever He does is from His rich bank of loyal love for us.
Fourth, we can leave judgment and vengeance—pay back—with Him (v. 8-12). One paraphrase pictures God with a “fistful of enemies in one hand and a fistful of haters in the other.” Catch your breath! Isn’t it curious that after talking about God’s love David immediately talks about the wrath of God in the following verses?
Last, the song ends in worship and so should we in light of God’s unending riches and blessings (v. 13).
So make it a habit to give thanks at your meals—and when you can pay a bill, get home safe, the car starts, or when the kids come to visit. Et cetera.