1 Chronicles 29:10-19
Why David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be you, LORD God of Israel our father…
One of the closing acts of David's life was a public acknowledgment of God's favour, and a public entreaty of God's blessing upon his people and upon his son. It was a sacred and solemn act of devotion, and only inferior in sublimity to the invocation and prayer of Solomon upon the occasion of the dedication of the temple. The aged king acted, not only as the civil ruler, but as the religious leader of Israel. Gathering the princes, the warriors, and the multitude together, he, as their representative, offered spiritual sacrifices of adoration, thanksgiving, and prayer before Israel's God. We observe, in this address to Heaven, a combination of the several parts of which devotion should be composed.
I. THE RECOGNITION OF THE DIVINE CHARACTER. In vers. 11 and 12 the attributes of Jehovah are celebrated with devout reverence, and in language of memorable beauty and eloquence. The propriety of such an invocation is manifest. When we draw near to God, it is not simply to bring our sin and want before him; it is to bring his holiness and greatness and beneficence before our minds. The Lord Jesus, in the prayer known as the Lord's Prayer, has given us an example of such adoration; for the petitions are prefaced by a reverent invoking of the Divine Father.
II. THE BLESSING OF GOD'S NAME. The contemplation of God's power, majesty, and dominion fails to produce its due result, unless it awakens our hearts to grateful praise. Ver. 13, "We thank thee, and praise thy glorious Name." Prayer without thanksgiving cannot be acceptable; what God has done, what he has given, must be acknowledged by those who have fresh favours to implore.
III. HUMILIATION AND CONFESSION. The language of vers. 14 and 15 is marvellous for sublimity and pathos, has wrought itself into the speech and the prayers of men. Feeble, finite, dependent, and short-lived denizens of earth, when we come into the presence of the Unchangeable and Eternal, it becomes us to cherish a sense of our utter unworthiness. We cannot even undertake to engage in the service of God without feeling that for that service we are altogether unfit. Confession of sin and humiliation before the All-holy must be part of all truly acceptable devotion.
IV. INTERCESSION. In ver. 18 David prays for Israel at large; in ver. 19 for his son Solomon. For his people the king's chief desire was that the Lord would "prepare their heart unto himself." Their allegiance to Heaven, their spiritual good, their qualification for whatever work God should call them to undertake, - such were the blessings the aged king sought on behalf of his subjects. And for his son, how earnestly and appropriately did he plead! His prayer was that Solomon's character and his lifework might alike be acceptable to God. A prayer so comprehensive, so devout, so suited to the circumstances in which it was uttered, surely deserves the attentive study of those who would draw near to God in such a spirit as may justify the expectation that he will draw near to them. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.