By Sam Greer
Senior Pastor, Red Bank Baptist Church, Chattanooga
One year ago this month, my wife Tonya underwent a 12-hour HIPEC surgery to treat her peritoneal carcinoma. Her surgery went well, but recovery was brutal. Months later, she underwent an additional surgery due to an intestinal blockage. Tonya’s suffering was difficult to watch; however, we are so thankful. Being brought through such a storm has taught us lessons about both suffering and thanksgiving. One must be thinkful of God in order to be thankful to God. Furthermore, in order to express thankfulness to God, one must continue to be thoughtful for God.
In 2 Samuel 22:26-36 and 50-51, David was thinkful of God, thankful to God and thoughtful for God. As David was thinking about how God had delivered him from the hands of his enemies, he burst forth in thanksgiving and praise. As David burst forth in thanksgiving and praise, he thoughtfully proclaimed the name of God to all the nations.
Are you thinking of God? Are you thankful to God? Are you thoughtful for God? Before you answer these aforementioned questions, consider the answers to the questions below:
Why are we to be thankful? (2 Samuel 22:26-31) David recognized that God is the One who is merciful and just (vv. 26-28).
Also, the king reflected on the fact that God responds to people based upon how they respond to His mercy and grace (vv. 26-28). Evidenced by the use of personal pronouns (you and my), David was in a personal relationship with Yahweh (vv. 29-30).
Followers of Jesus are in a personal relationship with God the Father, through God the Son, by way of God the Holy Spirit. Isn’t that reason enough to be thankful? On top of that, God’s Word is the truth and He shields all who yield to Him. In a world where bad news is only trumped by fake news, isn’t it good news to know that God says what He means and means what He says? How much more reason do we need to be thankful? None!
To whom are we to be thankful? (2 Samuel 22:32-36) In David’s hymn of thanksgiving, he made known that God is not only good, but God alone is God (v. 32). God has the monopoly on being God. A spirit of gratitude is viewed as an honorable virtue even among people who reject God.
God, however, is the One to whom all thanksgiving must be given. The only One worthy of thanksgiving and praise is and always will be God. David gives all the credit for anything and everything to God (vv. 33-36). Give thanksgiving to God!
How are we to be thankful? (2 Samuel 22:50-51) David was unable to contain his praise of God to the nations (v. 50). What’s more, David told his testimony, that is, that God’s great salvation was brought into his heart and life (v. 50). In fact, Israel’s king was having gospel conversations about the “root and offspring of David” before Jesus was born (v. 51).
How are we to express our thankfulness to God? Have a gospel conversation this week and tell somebody your testimony. A gospel conversation is one whereby a simple presentation of the gospel is given and a clear invitation extended.
The point of 2 Samuel 22 was that David is not the point, but David is the pointer who was pointing people to Yahweh. Followers of Jesus, we are not the point, but we are pointers pointing people to Jesus.