Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: "Blessed are You, Lord God of
It seems sometimes that modern Christianity has devolved into a "bless me" club. Preachers offer the unlimited blessings of God in exchange for higher offerings and compromise the Gospel in the process. There was a "pastor" on Facebook recently who promised unlimited blessings for the first 100,000 people who "liked" his ministry page! Just turn on what passes for Christian television these days and see that the vast majority preach this bless me theology -- either in the obvious prosperity form or other more insidious and subtle ways. Beloved, God has already blessed us. I believe He will continue to do so, but to look towards Him with an open hand seems awfully dismissive of everything He has already done. If He stopped at salvation -- would that be enough for us? Wouldn't the fact that we now have eternal life, overcome the world and have our name written in the Lamb's Book of Life be enough? Do we have to think that we deserve the bigger house and car too? One of the major problems arising from the bless me theologies is that it turns us into consumers instead of recipients. As consumers we are constantly expecting something instead of being thankful as recipients. When I woke up today I thought; why don't we bless God for a change?
God brought me to the key verse for today and the prayer of blessing King David pours out to God that follows. This is occurring right before Solomon is anointed King to succeed David and the building of the temple would begin. David would be prevented from building the temple because God said he had shed too much blood and was a man of war. So, David gets the ball rolling, collects offerings from the people to begin the process of building the temple and then offers up a prayer that the Bible describes as a blessing to God. Within it are keys for us today to take heed of if we intend to bless God as well in our lives. Before getting into the exposition of verses I think it is important to note the backdrop of this story. David wanted to build the temple. It was his vision. God however said no. David did not pick up his ball and go home. He did not petulantly pout about the decision God made. He did not draw a circle in the sand and demand to be allowed to build the temple. He understood the sovereignty of God. In the midst of this denial from God he still sought to bless God.
Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, "I came naked from my mother's womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord !" In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God. -- Job 1: 20-22 (NLT)
Likewise, Job chooses to bless the Lord right after hearing about the death of his children and the loss of all of his material wealth! Mixed up within the bless me theologies is a sense that God is somehow here to serve us and not the other way around. So let us not lose sight that David chooses to bless God at a point when his flesh was probably less than pleased at a decision God had made. We too must choose to bless God even when we may not feel like it. Now here is the first portion of David's blessing:
Yours, O Lord , is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; Fo r all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord , And You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. -- 1Chronicles 29: 11-12 (NKJV)
If we want to bless God we must start w ith who He is and what belongs to Him. We are entitled to nothing beloved yet He has chosen to give us everything because of His never-ending love, grace and mercy. Everything in heaven and on this earth is His. Everything we own we have because of Him. We did not "earn it." We do not "deserve it." Pulling these two verses apart though we see that God is supposed to be exalted as head over all. If we want to truly bless God then we must make Him God over all of our life, not just parts of it. I fear that sometimes we can tend to exalt Him as head over most of our lives, just not quite all of it. We hold back the portions we stubbornly like from our old life. We cling to our secret sins. We walk up to the altar and beg God to take them from us and then walk back to our pew still holding onto them. If we place anything in this life before our God then by definition we are not exalting Him as the head over all. The rich young ruler refused to exalt God over his money and went away sad. Judas refused to exalt God over his politics and greed. How many today still refuse to exalt God over their politics, greed, money, career, anger, lust, fears, anxieties, or sins? If we want to truly bless God then we will make Him Lord over all.
Secondly from these two verses we see terms we like to use in our Christianese but maybe we do not stop to properly think about what they mean. God possesses all the power, glory, victory and majesty. When we try to lean to our own understanding we act as if we have the power. When we try and take credit for something or even act prideful at all -- we rob God of His glory. We cannot celebrate the victories in our lives without God and still think we can bless Him. While these are all important for a life that blesses God I want to stop for a moment on majesty, which is defined as possessing royal authority and sovereignty. I stop here because it seems that it is the majesty of God that we readily dismiss in the middle of bless me theologies. We hear sermons that do not pay proper homage to who God is supposed to be combined with worship music that denigrates who He is and then wonder why so many don't seem to get this point. Was Abraham a friend of God? Absolutely but it was because God was his Lord first. If we have arrived at the point where we are willing to take a knife to the throat of our only child or pick up everything we have and move to an unknown land for the Lord -- then maybe we can consider His friendship. The problem today is we have a generation who considers His friendship without considering His Lordship. If we want our lives to truly bless God then we must see Him as our Lord, ruler over our lives.