Alternate Arts

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Take Your Place in Line

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Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

In the Old Testament book of 1 Chronicles, chapter 16, just after the ark of the covenant was restored in Israel, King David gave to Asaph and his fellow musicians a song of thanks to the Lord. Maybe Asaph helped write the music, maybe the musicians simply performed what was given them by David, but in any case it’s a beautiful psalm of praise.

Verse 34 says, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!”

This phrase, “Give thanks to…” is repeated over and over in the life of Israel.

In 2 Chronicles 5:12, Solomon built a magnificent temple according to the plans his father David gave him. The ark was brought from the tent and placed in the Holy of Holies (the most inner sanctuary of the temple). Worshipping at Solomon’s temple were Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and relatives. They stood on the east side of the altar dressed in fine linen and played cymbals, harps and lyres. Accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets they sang these words:

For he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever,

Another example of this theme, “He is good…,” occurs in Ezra 3:10, 11. After the exiles returned from Babylon and laid the foundation of a new temple, Asaph’s descendants (the scripture says “the sons of Asaph”) played cymbals and helped lead worship just as David and Asaph had done with such joy 500 years earlier. At this worship service they sang this song with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord:

For he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever,

There are other sections of scripture that repeat this couplet, especially Psalm 136.

We stand in a long line of writers, performers and musicians who throughout history have sung, said, or prayed…

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

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