A portion of one of David’s psalms caught my attention recently ( Ps. 69:29-34 ). David has been living under the reproach and persecution of enemies, and even his family has turned against him. Yet he is trusting in God to save him, and he is promising to praise God with music and magnify Him with thanksgiving for that salvation, something that will please the Lord better than an ox or bull. That is a remarkable thing for a Jew to say, someone who lives under a system of worship, designed by God, commanding people to approach Him with animal sacrifices. So not only is David going against the system God created, but he says God will enjoy it more. Why? Because God knows the heart, and He knows that David could bring hundreds of bulls without praise and thanksgiving in the heart.
Then David talks about the impact his offering will have on others – the humble will see it and be glad. Why? Well, what if David had brought oxen and bulls to express his worship to God? Then the humble/poor might think that is the only way to worship God, and be discouraged because they can’t do the same as David. If that’s what it takes to say thank you to God, we’re doomed! But seeing God more pleased with praise and thanksgiving gives them hope and encouragement to worship God with what they do have.
And that’s the point – God doesn’t need us to give Him anything, He wants us to be thankful for all that He has given us. If David had brought a thousand bulls it would not have improved God one bit. What God wants most, we can give Him; in fact, we have as much as David to give to Him. And He has given us a salvation much better than David’s in this scene. He has saved us from the consequences of our sin: His wrath and justice, the penalty of His law, eternal death. He has saved us from our fear of death, from our slavery to sin, from Satan’s domination of us, from our empty lives lived for temporal pleasures, from our spiritual blindness, and on and on.
We have much to praise and thank God for, not just on “Thanksgiving” Thursday, but every day, and we have the promise and thrill of knowing God is more pleased with it than with a one hundred dollar “seed”, and just as pleased with it from the pauper as from the king! So, humble people, magnify Him with thanksgiving and be glad, because He is glad!