How Can I Say Thanks?
(7) For wrongdoing will they escape? In wrath bring down the nations, God. (8) You have kept count of my wanderings. Put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? (9) Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know that God (is) for me. (10) In God, whose word I praise, in Yahweh, whose word I praise, (11) in God I have trusted. I will not fear. What can man do to me? (12) I (am bound by) your vows, God. I will render thank offerings to you, (13) for you have delivered my soul from death. (Have you not kept) my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life?
In this second half of this psalm, David poses four rhetorical questions that provide us with an outline of its message. Each question is accompanied by an answer, expressing David’s confidence in God:
Question #1 – “Will they escape?”
Answer #1 – “Bring down the nations, O God” (vs. 7).
Question #2 – “Are they (my tears) not recorded in your book?”
Answer #2 – “You have kept count of my wanderings” (vs. 8).
Question #3 – “What can man do to me?”
Answer #3 – “I will not fear” (vs. 11).
Question #4 – “Have you not kept my feet from stumbling?”
Answer #4 – “You have delivered my soul from death” (vs. 13).
Note also that verses 10 & 11 are a virtual repetition of verse 4 in the first half of the psalm.
I. Bring down the wicked. (7)
II. In my difficulties, I can be sure that God is on my side. (8 & 9)
III. Trusting in God, I need not fear what men can do. (10 & 11)
IV. I have vowed to praise God for his deliverance. (12 & 13)
A continual response of gratitude is what we owe to God for faithfully hearing our prayers and graciously delivering us from our enemies.
Andre Crouch in his worship song, To God Be the Glory, captures the essence of this psalm: “How can I say thanks for the things you have done for me, / things so undeserved yet you give to prove your love for me? / The voices of a million angels, could not express my gratitude. / All that I am, and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee.” The lyricist was right to ask the question, “How can I say thanks?” We can never praise God enough for the blessings he has lavished on us. Yet, when we do express our gratitude to God, he is delighted.
At Christmas we often hear the complaints from those who struggle to find gifts for the person who already has everything. If anyone defines that category, it is God. He is the one being in the universe who already has everything we might ever try to offer him. As the creator and sustainer of all things, there is nothing he lacks, nothing he needs, nothing he desires, except for one thing – our gratitude. The one gift he does not already possess is our heartfelt thanks and praise.
That is why Jesus told the woman at the well, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” (Jn. 4:23). It should amaze us that the self-sufficient, infinite creator of the universe would seek anything from human beings. But, in fact, he does. He seeks our gratitude and obedient worship in response to his love. The sacrifice of praise is the one thing we can offer that will please our heavenly Father more than any other gift we might try to give him.