And as if this was a small thing in Your eyes, O God, You have spoken about the future of the house of Your servant and have regarded me as a man of great distinction, O LORD God.
spirit in which "the sacrifice of thanksgiving" should be presented.
I. DEEP HUMILITY before the presence of God. "Then went King David in" from his palace of cedar to the lowly tent (the palace of the Divine King of Israel), "and sat" on the ground in a lowly posture, according to Eastern custom (expressive of his lowly state of mind), "before Jehovah," the symbol of whose presence stood veiled before him. "And (after devout thought on the communication)he said, Who am I, O Lord God?" etc. (ver. 18). Although in comparison with other men he "might have whereof to glory," yet in the conscious presence of God he had a profound sense of his weakness, insignificance, dependence, and unworthiness (Genesis 32:10; Job 42:5, 6; Isaiah 57:15; Ephesians 3:8; 1 Peter 5:5, 6). The proud heart is never a thankful heart. The poorer we are in our own estimation the more disposed we are to "praise the Lord for his goodness." Humility is the first step of a ladder whose top reaches heaven (Matthew 5:3).
II. CALM REFLECTION on his benefits. "And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God," etc. "And this [which thou hast graciously promised concerning my house] is the law [established order or decree] of [or pertaining to a mortal] man, O Lord God!" (ver. 19). "Is this the law of one who is a mere man created from the dust as I am, that I should be elevated to such a glorious altitude as this?" (Wordsworth). "Thou hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree" (1 Chronicles 17:17). An expression of humble astonishment. The more he pondered it in his heart, the more he was humbled, surprised, and filled with thankfulness. We have not less cause for gratitude (Psalm 8:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10). "Forget not all his benefits," past, present, or to come. We are apt to forget them, and therefore should contemplate them frequently, enumerate them one by one, and endeavour to estimate their exceeding worth. Meditation is like a lens, by which the rays of the sun are collected into a focus and produce so intense a heat that coals of fire are kindled by it (Psalm 39:3; Psalm 48:9; Psalm 77:11, 12; Luke 2:19).
III. INTENSE CONVICTION of his claims. "And what can David say more unto thee? for thou knowest thy servant, O Lord God!" (ver. 20). The great things which had been promised, the obligations under which they laid him, and his conviction and impression thereof, were all indescribable. Words failed him; and he could only appeal to Omniscience to witness the sincerity and depth of his grateful feeling (John 21:17). Every additional benefit conferred upon us increases the claims of our Divine Benefactor on our love and devotion. His mercies are "new every morning" (Lamentations 3:23); and the debt we owe is ever accumulating.
"How can I repay to Jehovah
IV. FERVENT GRATITUDE for his grace. "For thy Word's sake;" in fulfilment of thy purpose and promise formerly expressed, "and according to thine own heart," of thy spontaneous, sovereign, unmerited favour, "hast thou done all these great things to make thy servant know them," for his consolation and encouragement (ver. 21). It is the disinterested love and abounding grace of God, displayed in his gifts, that more than anything else touches the heart and constrains it to fervent gratitude. "To my eye the workings of a heart oppressed and overflowing with gratitude are painted stronger in this prayer than I ever observed them in any other instance. It is easy to see that his heart was wholly possessed with a subject which he did not know how to quit, because he did not know how to do justice to the inestimable blessings poured down upon himself and promised to his posterity; much less to the infinite bounty of his Benefactor" (Delany).
V. LOWLY ADORATION of his perfections. "Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God," etc. (ver. 22). The greatness of Jehovah, the incomparable One, the only God, was manifested in his dealings with his servant, as in the whole history of Israel, "according to all that we have heard with our ears." David had the most exalted views of his character as the All-wise and All-powerful, the Condescending, Faithful, Gracious, Merciful, and Just (1 Samuel 2:2; Psalm 113:6); and he delighted in the contemplation and praise of his infinite excellence. God himself is greater than anything he has done or promised to do; but by means of his doings and revelations we are enabled to know him and draw nigh to him in worship and adoration, wherein the soul finds its noblest activity, rest, and joy.
VI. GENEROUS SYMPATHY with his people. "And what one nation in the earth is like thy people," etc. (vers. 23, 24)? An incomparable people!
1. Redeemed by mighty acts.
2. Designed for a special purpose - to be his possession or property, and to "show forth his praise."
3. Established in covenant relationship forever (ver. 16; Revelation 21:3, 7). David "glorified God" in them; and in doing so he showed his love for them, his sympathy and identity with them (2 Samuel 5:12). His thanksgiving and praise were large hearted and disinterested. The selfish heart (like the proud heart) is never a thankful heart. The more we esteem others the more numerous the occasions we find for gratitude to God, and the more we abound therein,
VII. ENTIRE CONSECRATION to his service and glory. He avowed himself the servant of God (ver. 21), freely and gladly surrendered his will to him, sought what he promised, and desired that his Name might be "magnified forever" (ver. 26). This is the essence of the sacrifice of praise. "Father, glorify thy Name" (John 12:28; Philippians 1:20).
"As of their will, the angels unto thee
And yet this was a small thing in thine eyes, O Lord.I. OVER WHAT HE REJOICES.
1. Over great blessings received.
2. Over yet greater blessings promised.
II. IN WHAT SPIRIT HE REGARDS THESE FAVOURS.
1. As utterly undeserved by himself.
2. As the gift of God's sovereign grace.
(J. P. Lange.)
I. — THE RELATION GOD BEARS TO HIS PEOPLE.
1. He has chosen them out of the world.
2. He has given Himself to them in a peculiar way.
3. He avows that relation to them before the whole universe.
II. WHAT UNDER THAT RELATION WE MAY EXPECT AT HIS HANDS.
1. The care of His providence.
3. The communications of His grace.
3. The manifestations of His love.
4. The possession of His glory.
III. WHAT UNDER THAT RELATION HE IS ENTITLED TO EXPECT FROM US.
1. That we be a people to Him.
2. That we give ourselves to Him.
(C. Simeon, M. A.)
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