Give thanks to the LORD for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever – a sermon on 1 Chronicles 16:8-34 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.
Just up the road from here you’ll find Moore Pocket’s road. Some of you know the road well, because that’s where you live! If you drive down it, you’ll notice a number of humps in the street – almost like those on the back of a camel… There are three of them: the 2nd and 3rd ones are a bit flatter but the 1st one is a bit bumpier. Now if you drive over them carefully, they’re not too bad, but if you’re in a bit of hurry or if, like some in the congregation you’ve got a bit of a lead foot, when you go over those humps, you can get a bit shaken up or you can get into an accident.
The road of life is a bit like that, isn’t it – sometimes there are little bumps on it, sometimes there are bigger bumps and sometimes we travel so fast along it that we get a bit out of control or we come down with a bit of a hard landing. And sometimes we wonder why these bumps are there. But the important thing for us to know is that even when there are bumps in the road, we can safely travel along life’s road – because we are in the Lord’s hands. And yes, He may at times allow us to hit those speedbumps, but we know that even then, He uses those speedbumps to draw us closer to Him. He uses them to strengthen us in our faith and to sharpen us in our walk of faith. So even the speedbumps of life are blessings among the countless blessings with which our gracious God blesses us. When we look at what the Lord has done in our lives, how He has blessed us, we surely cannot help but to respond with thanksgiving. And that’s what David is doing in this psalm. He led his people in bringing up the ark of the Lord to Jerusalem, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord, and they celebrated together. But he also ordered that thanksgiving be sung to the Lord, giving thanks to God for who He is and for what He has done and especially for His enduring love.
But it is not just in this passage that we are called to give thanks for God’s enduring love. We see the same call in a number of psalms, especially in psalm 136 where the refrain of God’s enduring love echoes in each of the 26 verses. The prophet Jeremiah also highlights God’s steadfast love, and we’re also reminded of that love when king Solomon dedicates the temple. But we find this refrain the first time in our passage for today, and it’s a refrain that reminds God’s people of His incredible goodness and it encourages them to praise Him for His steadfast love. And of course this goes for us today as well. We’re called to give thanks to the Lord for His wondrous works and for His salvation that comes from His steadfast love that endures forever. We’re called to
- Give thanks to the LORD;
- Give thanks to the LORD for His wondrous works; and
- Give thanks to the LORD who saves.