Thursday, June 07, 2007
Sacrifice of Praise
Did you ever notice how often David's Psalms say, "I will praise the Lord..." Not, "I feel so wonderful! Praise God!" Not "I can't keep from busting out with happiness!" Just "I WILL".
I am reading I Samuel with my son, and we are finding it instructive to read his poetry along with David's life story. From the perspective of suburban American comfort, David's poetry doesn't jibe with his experience.
He was the overlooked, un-promising youngest son. He spent most of his adolescence shouldering adult responsibilities with spectacular success and provoking growing envy. He spent his young adulthood living hand-to-mouth in caves, hunted as a criminal by the very man who had been his role-model. When he came to power, not only was his kingdom surrounded by external enemies, but it was wracked by internal factions stirred up by the insane policies of his predecessor. He sinned grievously in one terrible abuse of power, resulting in revolt in his own family. David's own son led a (briefly) successful coup...
But his poetry is laced with "I will praise the Lord..." Seems to me that feeling good wasn't the motivation for that praise. David himself calls it "the sacrifice of praise." He simply chose to focus on God's rescues, not on his own difficulties. And so will I.
Have a look at others' praises on this Thankful Thursday at Sting My Heart...