Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! – Psa. 107:8 KJV
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The reference scripture for today’s devotional is the one hundred and seventh psalm of the Bible, a psalm whose authorship is assumed to be King David because of its emphasis on the need for all people to praise the Lord. On four occasions within the forty- three verses of the psalm, he implored men to praise the Lord. Today’s foundation scripture is the first of those instances when the writer of this psalm strongly advised that men should praise the Lord with a repetition in verses fifteen, twenty-one and thirty one respectively. His reason for this strong advise is because of the goodness of the Lord and the wonderful works that He does in the lives of the children of men.
Of course, it should not be a surprise to anyone if we find people who will be quick to ask what the Lord has done for them to deserve praise from them. That is the nature of men as the average human being hardly remember any favour already received and only look forward to the favours desired. Where they even remember the already received favour, they are hardly able to associate this favour to an unseen god as they will rather give the praise to the human being that they can see, may be with the hope that such expressed gratitude will yield for them the expected favour.
The fact remains that man has several reasons to remain grateful to the Almighty God every second of the day, the major reason being the gift of life which he constantly renews everyday. Waking up after what seems like death and being able to move all parts of the body is the greatest reason to remain grateful to the Almighty God. Man could not have woken up because of the alarm clock that was set neither could it have been the action of a family member or the irritable sound that was made close by. All these factors are available to the ones that have died and they still do not wake up. Likewise, man cannot take for granted the availability of oxygen that scientists inform us is what sustains our breathing and by inference our lives because this same oxygen is available to be sold to those that are dying and they still are not alive. It is then very clear that it is not those tangible things that is sustaining man but the unseen grace of the Almighty God to whom man must remain grateful at all times.
Every other aspiration of man in life is dependent on this basic foundation of being alive as the one who is dead cannot have any aspirations, talk more about achieving them and glorying in them. The author of today’s scripture goes ahead to list some of the reasons why the people in his time needed to show gratitude to the Almighty God, all of which also applies to men today, though it may be in a different context.
- Some people actually had no direction for their lives as they in most cases had even given up on their lives when they ran to the Almighty God for salvation. Today they are people that can be reckoned with in the society and are still wandering why they need to remain eternally grateful to God when there are new aspirations that he is yet to bring to fulfilment. What an act of ingratitude when all that man remembers is what he is yet to achieve and chooses to forget completely what was previously received. The psalmist in today’s scripture wants such people to always remember that it was this God that brought hope into their lives – Psa. 107:1-7. It should not be about what he is yet to do but what he has done that allows for new aspirations. It happened because of his unfailing love and wonderful deeds to all men.
- Some actually found themselves in darkness and bondage because of their disregard for His Words and the despising of His counsel but when they cried unto Him, he was merciful enough to bring them out of the self inflicted darkness and gloom, breaking away all chains of bondage and such still wonders why the Almighty God should be praised – Psa. 107:9-15. What a great act of ingratitude due to selective amnesia by such people. If only they could learn to think deep, they will know that it was in His goodness that he decided to step into their situation, else they do not deserve been rescued from such situations which came on them because of their disobedience.
- For some of them, their foolishness for rejecting His counsel brought afflictions upon them. They became very sick but when they called upon Him, He sent His Words, and they were healed thus saving them from untimely death but they still cannot see why He should be praised – Psa. 107:16-21. What an ungrateful generation.
- Some went on their daily chores seeking success from their activities. In the process, several challenges sufficient to consume them came up, but not only did they overcome, they also became successful in situations that should have consumed them and they still wonder why they should be grateful to this unseen hands that saved them – Psa. 107:23-32.
- All the above does not exclude the day-to-day interventions that He makes in the lives of his people, seen and unseen and the ungrateful one still cannot see any reason why He should be praised – Psa. 107:35-42.
Only the foolish will think this way and that is what the ungrateful person is, as the Psalmist concludes that a wise person will consider all the positive interventions of the Almighty God and such will not need to be prompted to give thanks to the Lord – Psa. 107:43.
The Christian today must not be foolish as the act of ingratitude can only have negative implications for such a man. Whether man shows gratitude to God or not, God will remain God. Only human beings that he created in his image are not grateful to him as every other creation continues to praise and glorify the Lord. Do not be an ingrate. Stop considering only what He is yet to do and begin to thank Him for what He has already done which includes the fact that you are still alive to aspire. It is in that your genuine act of gratitude that whatever you desire will come to you because he dwells in the praise of his people – Psa. 22:3. You will not get anything from Him if you have not thanked Him sufficiently for what he already did starting from the gift of life. May God put in us all the spirit of gratitude in Jesus name. Amen.