O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. —Psalm 136:1 KJV
Rather than expressing gratitude for the good gifts we have received from God, we often act as if we have a right to far more. We complain about the privileges God gives others and covet what belongs to them (compare James 4:1-3). The Psalms combat our bent toward selfishness by calling us to thank the Lord by…
- Rehearsing what God has mercifully done for us (Ps. 107, 136).
- Challenging us to express gratitude for what we have (Ps. 92:1)
- Reminding us of the source of our possessions (Ps. 104).
By illustrating the dangers of ingratitude, Psalm 106 urges us not to minimize the importance of offering God our heartfelt thanks. It reviews Israel’s history of faithlessness, from unbelief in Egypt to idolatry in the Promised Land. The psalm ends with a plea for God to save His people so that they will give him thanks. We can avoid great pain and loss in this life by thanking the One who gives us life and every good gift (James 1:17).
What practical ways do you combat your own selfishness?