It is common courtesy to say thank you when someone gives you a gift or does something kind for you, but saying thank you doesn’t necessarily mean you are grateful. Gratitude is actually the feeling that causes us to respond when we experience something good or pleasant. Saying thank you could be a habit. It doesn’t always express a feeling.
Many of David’s psalms were responses to God’s goodness and blessing in his life. After the ark of the covenant of the LORD was brought to Jerusalem, David wrote a psalm of gratitude that is recorded in 1 Chronicles 16:8-36. In the introduction to the psalm it says that David delivered the psalm to Asaph, the worship leader, to thank the LORD (1 Chronicles 16:7).
David’s psalm instructs us to make known his deeds and talk about his wondrous works as a way of saying thank you to God. There is no greater way to say thank you than to tell the story of what had been done for you so that others will know about it.
God’s works are described as wondrous and marvelous (1 Chronicles 16:9,12). The Hebrew word pâlâ’ (paw – law´) means to be beyond one’s power to do (6381). Everyone has limitations, some more than others. Even David, who had a great army and all the wealth of the Promised Land at his disposal, could not make certain things happen.
The ark of the covenant contained a mercy seat upon which the presence of the LORD dwelt. In his sovereignty, the LORD chose Israel to be his people and he dwelt among them in a way that no other people had ever experienced. He gave the land of Canaan to the Israelites as an eternal inheritance and expelled all the people that had been living there so that the Israelites could live in peace and enjoy their prosperity.
In David’s personal life, the LORD had worked to transform him from a shepherd boy to a king. David knew that what God had done was impossible. There was no way in his own strength, David could have accomplished it. Writing a song may not seem like much of a tribute, but it was David’s way of saying thank you, in response to what he felt in his heart.