I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. Psalm 7:17
The word “thanks” in Hebrew is yadah, which means to acknowledge, to praise, to confess; essentially acknowledging what is right and true about God in praise and thanksgiving.
Not in fear and confusion, as if He were some mythological god who was unpredictable and moody.
God has blessed us with His Word, and preserved His Word for us (at great cost and sacrifice, for which we should be thankful for men like Wycliffe and Tyndale, etc.). And His Word is not just a “to-do and not to-do” manual to stay out of trouble. God has revealed Himself in His Word.
I’m letting that sink in for a moment. As my Creator, God owes me nothing. To command obedience because I am His creation is reasonable. Yet, God pursues a relationship. With me. Initiated by Him. Made possible by Him. And He reveals His heart and His character to me in His Word. So I can trust Him as a perfect Father. In a relationship. Amazing.
In The Treasury of David, by Charles H. Spurgeon, he titles Psalm 7 as “The Slandered Saint.” Cush, the Benjaminite, had brought a treasonous report of David to Saul. Since King Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin, it was most probably a family member who was trying to curry favor with Saul by slandering David, who was rising in popularity with the people.
David is being hunted by Saul. Though he has been loyal to the king, he is now a fugitive. David fought Goliath as a soldier of Israel, not to be grandstanding. Saul should have been the champion, going forth in the name of God. But Saul was hiding in his tent, offering rewards of his daughter and a tax-free life if anyone would be brave enough to take on the Philistine. Saul hated David because David was everything Saul wanted people to believe that he was — popular, devoted, brave God’s chosen one.
I think one of the hardest places to be thankful is when I am feeling misunderstood and accused of wrong that I didn’t do. I want people to think well of me. I want the truth to come out. I want to be vindicated.
And I want it now. I want to scream and stamp my feet and demand, “God, fix it!”
But now I come back to the amazing reality that God has revealed Himself in His Word. Reality — God sees everything. God knows every motive, every thought, every action. God is absolutely righteous. He is not swayed by flattery or bribery. He does not “play favorites.” God will judge every sin. Every single one.
In His time.
David takes refuge in that reality. He examines his own heart, he reminds himself of God’s righteousness, and then he offers words of faith and trust in God’s goodness and care for him. He can be grateful while still a fugitive. God is his refuge.
God is my refuge. My body may betray me, my motives may be misunderstood, but God knows me; He loves me; He has a purpose for me.
And I am so grateful.