1 Chr. 16:34-35
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. And say, “save us, O God of our salvation; gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles, to give thanks to Your holy name, to triumph in Your praise.”
I was in a bind. It was not some critical, life threatening situation, but I knew that I had to appeal to God to save me from that place because I had neither the means nor the skill to save myself. My appeal sounded similar to how I would have asked anyone for help, humbly admitting my predicament and asking God to step in to do something good for me. I had not noticed the flaw in my request then, but I notice it now when I review these words of praise from David. When we seek deliverance from God, it is not for us but for him. His saving acts do not come about with our blessing as their end. The end of that work is for God to be blessed and praised.
David knew why God would save his people from the Gentiles. Yes, He is a good God. Yes, He knows how to deal righteously with his children. However, their salvation was not the point. Their salvation was to culminate in their giving thanks to God for his goodness and his good work. The thing is, the works of God cannot exist separate from the thanksgiving that those works demand. What He does is so great that we must praise him for it. If He saves us, and we do not praise him, that is an injustice. When we triumph after our deliverance, it is not in that deliverance that we triumph. No, we triumph in the praises to God for delivering us as He has.
God’s good work for us is also a good work for him, and they cannot be separated. It is neither selfish nor self-serving. Before He even makes any discernable move, He is worthy to be praised. He is already good and already planning our deliverance. He is already loving us and orchestrating outcomes in our favor. Before the foundations of the Earth were laid, God had our freedom in mind and already had a plan in place for it. We give thanks not only once we receive our blessing but well before that because we know that God’s good heart is always inclined toward us. Father, teach us what it means to praise You as You deserve in every phase of this life.