Theme: Singing Praise to God
This week’s lessons help us to properly celebrate Thanksgiving by impressing upon us the importance of continually expressing genuine thanks to the Lord for all his blessings.
Scripture: 1 Chronicles 16:8-12
Verse nine introduces a new idea. It tells us that the fourth way to give thanks is to sing praises to God. I wonder if you’ve ever reflected how it is a characteristic of Judaism and Christianity that we worship God by singing to him. It’s not true of all the world’s religions. In fact, it is really only true in the most profound sense of Judaism and Christianity. It’s because the other world religions are not religions of joy. There you have people who are still laboring to find God, and so if there’s music at all it’s a chant. It can be mournful. Perhaps it’s a type of music that induces a trance that’s supposed to help one another move along the spiritual path to finding God.
But it’s not like that in Christianity. We sing because we’re joyful. We have a gospel, and the gospel is good news. It’s the good news of deliverance. And the God who has worked through the gospel to deliver us from sin has also blessed us abundantly not only with spiritual things but with many material things besides. So when we come together we naturally sing his praises.
I can’t understand why in some churches things are gloomy and not joyful at all. I think if you don’t enjoy singing praises to God, if you really have no interest in that at all, I would question whether you really understand the gospel and are regenerate, because it is a natural response of the heart to sing praises to the God who has saved us. You say that you don’t sing very well, and if you sang nobody else would want to sit around you. Well maybe that’s the case, but at least enjoy the singing of other people. Perhaps you can hum along. At least sing in your heart even if you’re not singing so others can hear.
Verse nine also provides us with a fifth idea. It says, “Tell of all his wonderful acts.” Now that is very similar to what is said in the verse before. The second half of verse eight says, “Make known among the nations what he has done.” And now in verse nine it says, “Tell of all his wonderful acts.” It is the same thing, but it’s not mere repetition. What’s the difference? Well, in verse eight we are told about spreading the good news of God to all the nations. That concerns the scope of our activity. One way we do that is by our interest in world missions. A church that is not interested in spreading the gospel to the nations is a church that’s not really very thankful for what God has done in the church around the world. One thing I rejoice in at Tenth Church year by year is our missions conferences, and the degree to which the congregation support world missions. It’s really a very exciting thing, and a proper thing, because it’s an expression of what’s in our hearts.
But when we come to verse nine we find that it’s not just talking about making the glory of God known to the nations; it’s speaking of telling that in what you might describe as a far more common sense. What it really means is you and I speaking of the goodness of God regularly and informally with one another. We should be giving thanks to God always in a very natural way.
From the study, what is one element of thanksgiving that distinguishes Judaism and Christianity from other religions? What reason do Christians have as we engage in this activity?
In verse nine we are to “tell of all [God’s] wonderful acts.” How does this differ from the command in verse eight to “make known among the nations what he has done”?
Application: Pray for opportunities to tell others around you of the great things that the Lord has done for you.
Key Point: We sing because we’re joyful. We have a gospel, and the gospel is good news. It’s the good news of deliverance. And the God who has worked through the gospel to deliver us from sin has also blessed us abundantly not only with spiritual things but with many material things besides. So when we come together we naturally sing his praises.