"O, Give Thanks unto the Lord!"

James Smith, 1858
 

"O, Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His mercy endures forever!" 1 Chronicles 16:34

Thus, David commences more than one of his precious Psalms. He knew that the Lord loved to hear his people praise him, and bless his holy name. And he knew too, that there is great backwardness in the hearts of his children to return him thanks. We are all naturally ungrateful, not so much so to man, as to God. We forget our origin. We lose sight of our deserts. Then we receive God's daily favors as if we had a right to them, whereas we have forfeited every morsel we eat, every drop we drink, yes, the very air we breathe! Nor could we charge God with injustice, if he were to leave us in the greatest destitution, or even cast us into everlasting torments! As we deserve nothing but punishment, all that we receive besides this is from mercy, it is a favor, and ought to excite gratitude in our hearts, and call forth thanksgiving from our lips.

"O, give thanks unto the Lord" Christian, for he has not dealt with you after your sins, nor rewarded you according to your iniquities! He has pardoned your sins, justified your soul, renewed your nature, and given you a title to everlasting life. He has thus prevented your ruin, distinguished your person; and shown forth in you, the riches of his grace. He has borne with your follies, supplied all your needs, guided your steps, and promised to conduct you to glory! His mercy has been ever great toward you.

"O, give thanks to the Lord" then, "for he is good." Good in his nature. Good in his gracious purposes. Good in his precious promises. Good in his wise and holy providence. Good, and has displayed his goodness in a thousand ways. Good, and is as ready to bless you as ever. Good, and his goodness will remain the same forever. If God had not been good he would never have looked on you so lovingly when living in sin. If God had not been good he would not have borne with you so long. But "the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures from generation to generation."

"O, give thanks unto the Lord," believer, "for his mercy endures forever." Everything outside of God may change but his attributes and perfections are unchangeable. Whom he loves he loves unto the end. We, like the earth, pass through frequent, yes, constant changes; but he like the Sun, abides the same forever. What changes has the world passed through but the sun is as pure, perfect, and powerful now, as when it first poured forth its rays on the beautiful paradise, in which God had placed unfallen man. Just so the Lord, and just so his mercy.

For "the mercy of the Lord, is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him." Mercy first provided a way of escape for us, opened the door of hope to us, and warned us to flee from "the wrath to come." Mercy led us from Sinai to Calvary, from self to Jesus, from sin to holiness, from Satan to God. Mercy has led us, fed us, and protected us so many years in the wilderness. Mercy guards us by night, and guides us by day. Mercy has proved a firm, fast, and faithful friend to us, and we expect to find mercy our friend, in the great day of our Lord's appearing. Let mercy then, be the subject of our discourse, the theme of our song, and the joy of our hearts. Let, O let us, endeavor to glorify God for his mercy!

Holy Spirit, influence my heart, and tune my tongue, that I may gratefully give thanks unto the Lord, praising him not only with my lips but with life. O for grace from God, that I may daily give thanks to God, and speak of his goodness, and celebrate his mercy, in every possible way!