David’s Prayer of Thanksgiving is a classic Old Testament passage in that it is daunting in scope yet intensely relatable. David, a mighty king who wants neither wealth nor power, is reduced to the confused humility we all possess when basking in the glory of God. Despite benefiting firsthand from God’s love, David has difficulty concealing his amazement at his Lord’s awesome power. “You have given me a kingdom!” David cries out. “You have made me mighty and important, but I am just a taste of your glory.” David, truly the biggest of men, is but a “small thing” in the eyes of God. And while the at times self-congratulatory praises of an ancient king hold little resemblance to our daily lives, our trials and tribulations, our small victories and hard-fought accomplishments, this Prayer of Thanksgiving holds wisdom valuable to each and every one of us.
David’s actually reacting to something very specific here. In the previous verse, God entered into a covenant with the King of Israel, promising David that he and his descendants would from that day forth bask forever in God’s love. David’s lineage would last forever as a testament to God’s eternal love for him. Through Jesus Christ, God’s limitless love is extended to each and every one of us, and therein lies the beauty of David’s Thanksgiving. No matter our mistakes, no matter how great or terrible our lives have been, God loves us. God protects us–as he always has and always will. David’s Prayer of Thanksgiving is not just an adulation of prestige and good fortune, but a recognition of our unconditional covenant with God.
Oh Lord, thank you. Thank you for creating us and this beautiful world we live in. Thank you for your compassion, for sticking by your children when we are lost and have sinned against you. Thank you for leaving us the inheritance of your covenant with David, a kingdom of undying love where everyone, regardless of their privilege or merit, their sins or salvations, basks in your greatness in the house of the Lord. In your name we pray, Amen.
Alex Hoffman, ’23