April 26 – Songs of Praise – “Why not?” or “Who am I?”

Read 2 Samuel 7:1-28

“Why not?”  That could have been the response that David had given after the Lord turned down his offer to build the temple.  After all, temple building seemed obvious to David.  To him, it seemed unfair that he should live in a spacious palace while the Ark of the Covenant, representing the presence of God, had only ever been in a makeshift, portable tent.  As a result, David began to dream of a glorious temple that would reflect the greatness of God.

God had other plans.  As God spoke through David’s trusted servant Nathan, He revealed to the king that David would not be the one to build the temple.  Solomon, his son, would.  But that wasn’t the entire message.  God reminded David of his humble roots.  He pointed to the peace that Israel enjoyed at that time.  And He spoke of the future greatness that would one day be associated with David’s name.  From his offspring would come One (Jesus), whose kingdom would endure forever!

So, rather than the “why not?” of disappointment, David’s response is marked by the “who am I?” (v. 18) of privilege.  It was beyond his capacity to understand God’s selection of him and the many blessings that he had been permitted to experience.  David was so taken back by the wonder of God’s work that he even asked in amazement, “Is this your usual way of dealing with man, O Sovereign Lord?” (v. 19)

Which of those phrases most marks your attitude during this Thanksgiving season?  Do you find yourself expressing the “why not?” of disappointment over things that you had hoped for but never realized, prayed about but never experienced, dreamed of but never saw fulfilled?  If so, your joy tank is likely being filled with bitterness.  That is dangerous!

Or is the phrase that defines your attitude the “who am I?” of privilege?  Your focus is on a long list of undeserved blessings.  And you can hardly contain the sense of gratitude that you feel.  That is life-giving!

Years ago, a band called “Casting Crowns” released a song by the title “Who Am I.”  The lyrics help us to capture the privileged position that we have in Him.  Catch the song by clicking the link here.

Steve Kern

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