Summary: 1) Thankful Pronouncement (1 Chr. 29:10–12), 2) Thankful Praise (1 Chr. 29:13–17), and a 3) Thankful Petition (1 Chr. 29:18–20).
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In 1 Chronicles 29:10-20 these are David’s final words—his last address to his people and last official word to his son Solomon (Sailhamer, J. (1983). First and second Chronicles. Everyman’s Bible Commentary (63). Chicago, IL: Moody Press.).
In his words to Solomon he directs him, in the presence of the assembly, to give thanks for the real source of blessing, God Himself. He (declared) the LORD as worthy of all honor, exalted as head over all, and as the Source of all riches and honor. He acknowledged that he and his people were unworthy to give to God, and that what they gave had come from Him anyway. He prayed that the present devotion (an upright heart, v. 17) of his people would become a permanent trait (a heart fixed on God [v. 18]), and that his son would have a loyal heart (v. 19) in building the temple (MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments (A. Farstad, Ed.) (1 Ch 29:10–19). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.).
It is all too easy for thanksgiving to be a moment of self congratulation. The moment we mistakenly believe that it is because of our own resourcefulness, hard work, or good fortune that we have what we do, we misunderstand ourselves, and our place in the cosmos.
Today as we praise God in thanksgiving, it is a wonderful opportunity to recognize and celebrate that we can have a 1) Thankful Pronouncement (1 Chr. 29:10–12), 2) Thankful Praise (1 Chr. 29:13–17), and a 3) Thankful Petition (1 Chr. 29:18–20).
1) Thankful Pronouncement (1 Chr. 29:10–12)
1 Chronicles 29:10-12 Therefore David blessed the LORD in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: "Blessed are you, O LORD, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. (ESV)
David’s prayer begins with the verb בָּרוּךְ (barûk, blessed). The blessing links the present experience of Israel to the past and secures the future. The eternal God is the LORD who was with Israel (Jacob), and is now with David, and will always be with Israel. David draws assurance from the eternal God as the God of Israel his father which is the same assurance available to the postexilic community. The LORD is the God of Israel yesterday, today, and forever (cf. Heb 13:8). The Lord’s love is everlasting to everlasting (Ps 103:17). This beautiful thanksgiving prayer was the effusion overflowing with gratitude and delight at seeing the warm and widespread interest that was now taken in forwarding the favorite project of his life. Its piety is displayed in the fervor of devotional feeling—in the ascription of all worldly wealth and greatness to God as the giver, in tracing the general readiness in contributing to the influence of His grace, in praying for the continuance of this happy disposition among the people, and in solemnly and earnestly commending the young king and his kingdom to the care and blessing of God (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1 Ch 29:10). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.).
Following this elaborate invocation (1 Chr 29:10), the blessing divides in verse 11, into two sections. The structure is indicated by the phrase Yours, O LORD (לְךָ יהוה, ləkā YHWH). The first stanza (1 Chr 29:11a) evidences Israel’s praise language. BRAUN (284) points out the following parallels: (1) greatness (Ps 71:21; 145:3, 6), (2) power (Ps 89:14; 90:10; 106:2, 8; 145:11, 12; 150:2), (3) glory (Ps 71:8; 78:61; 89:18; 96:6), victory and the majesty/splendor (Ps 8:1; 21:5; 45:3; 96:6; 104:1; 111:3; 145:5), and in the heavens and in the earth (Ps 115:15; 121:2; 123:1; 124:8; 134:3; 135:6). This doxological language ascribes to God what rightly belongs to him as the sovereign Creator (“heavens and earth”).
Please turn to 2 Corinthians 9
The second stanza beginning in 1 Chr 29:11b locates the reign of God in Israel’s situation. While the Lord reigns over all the earth and everything belongs to him, on this occasion God has demonstrated his reign in Israel. In the new testament, Jesus is revealed as the personification of the kingdom of God, uniting both its human and divine dimensions. Now he sits ‘above all rule and authority, power and dominion’ (Eph. 1:21), and is ‘head over everything for the church, which is his body’ (Eph. 1:22–23). The church, like David’s Israel, must put its confidence in this kingdom, even though the kingdoms of this world seem to be more evident and more pressing. But God’s kingdom too has its earthly characteristics, such as the generous giving of his people (Selman, M. J. (1994). Vol. 10: 1 Chronicles: An Introduction and Commentary. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (271–272). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.).