Summary: The theme is regaining a perspective of gratitude. Base on David’s song of gratitude in 1 Chronicles 16:7-36 when the ark of the covenant (God’s presence) returned to Jerusalem (His people). I preached it as a Thanksgiving sermon.

Pastor Shannon D. Morgan

Paragould First Assembly of God

November 23, 2003

Text: 1 Chronicles 16:7-36

Type: Thanksgiving Message

Regain Your Focus

(Building an Attitude of Gratitude)


1) 1 Chronicles 16:7-36 records a beautiful Psalm of David expressing heartfelt gratitude to God.

2) In order to understand David’s gratitude we must understand the events that transpired prior to this song of praise.

3) The ark of the covenant was stolen by the Philistines.

• The ark contained the two stone tablets, a jar of manna, and Aaron’s staff that had budded. (But that is a different story.)

• It signified God’s word, provision, and power for his people.

• It represented the reality of God’s presence with his people and God’s presence resided on the ark.

4) When the Philistines stole the ark of the covenant they in essence stole the reality of God’s presence from God’s people. God’s people lost their focus.

(application) It is easy in daily life to lose our awareness of God’s presence. The enemy wants to rob you of that awareness. Satan will use anything he can to distract you from intimate relationship with Christ and make you lose your focus.

- If he can make you lose your focus, then he can make you ineffective.

5) The Philistines stole the ark and that was serious business with God. (For the sake of time we are not going to read about it right now, but you can check it out in 1 Samuel 5).

• They placed it in the temple of Dagon.

• God sent an angel, knocked their god over, and broke his hands and his head off. (Explain how Dagon fell over and got his name)

(application) You know its going to be a bad day when you have to begin by taping your God back together. (Where’s the duck tape?)

• As if that wasn’t bad enough, they still didn’t get the message. God smote them with tumors. (KJV – emerods, from which the word hemorrhoids is derived)

(Comedian Steve Geyer illustrated the Philistines in this story, “We got he the ark of the covenant. Ah! Give it back! Give it back!”)

6) After seven months of self-torture, the Philistines sent the ark back.

- It was placed ten miles from Jerusalem at a place called Kiriath Jearim and forgotten about.

7) Saul became Israel’s first king and he neglected to bring it back to Jerusalem. (center of worship)

- God’s people lost their focus for a long time.

- God’s presence wasn’t at the center of their lives.

- The ark was gone and no one missed it.

(application) When God isn’t at the center of your life, then things get out of balance.

8) David became king and he was a man after God’s own heart.

• He directed the ark’s return to Jerusalem and God’s presence again became the center of life for His people.

• David rejoiced that God’s presence was again the focus of his people.

• Text: 1 Chronicles 16:7-36

That day David first committed to Asaph and his associates this psalm of thanks to the LORD:

8 Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;

make known among the nations what he has done.

9 Sing to him, sing praise to him;

tell of all his wonderful acts.

10 Glory in his holy name;

let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.

11 Look to the LORD and his strength;

seek his face always.

12 Remember the wonders he has done,

his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,

13 O descendants of Israel his servant,

O sons of Jacob, his chosen ones.

14 He is the LORD our God;

his judgments are in all the earth.

15 He remembers his covenant forever,

the word he commanded, for a thousand generations,

16 the covenant he made with Abraham,

the oath he swore to Isaac.

17 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,

to Israel as an everlasting covenant:

18 "To you I will give the land of Canaan

as the portion you will inherit."

19 When they were but few in number,

few indeed, and strangers in it,

20 they wandered from nation to nation,

from one kingdom to another.

21 He allowed no man to oppress them;

for their sake he rebuked kings:

22 "Do not touch my anointed ones;

do my prophets no harm."

23 Sing to the LORD, all the earth;

proclaim his salvation day after day.

24 Declare his glory among the nations,

his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

25 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;

he is to be feared above all gods.

26 For all the gods of the nations are idols,

but the LORD made the heavens.

27 Splendor and majesty are before him;

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