Practice extravagant obedience to show your thankfulness.
2 Chronicles 4-5, 7
4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord. 5 King Solomon offered as a sacrifice 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. . . 7 And Solomon consecrated the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord, for there he offered the burnt offering and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar Solomon had made could not hold the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat.
Offerings were not unusual to the people of Israel. Throughout their wilderness wanderings and their initial years in the land, the people of Israel already knew of the different kinds of sacrifices and offerings that God required. So when we see offerings being made by Solomon and those under his leadership, what we see is the people of God responding to the revelation of God with obedience to God.
But the obedience that you see here is not some sort of drudgery. There is no sense of an unpleasant duty that nobody really wanted to perform. There is a clear delight that Solomon and the people have in obeying God. How do we know that? We know that there is delight here because the obedience is so extravagant, so rich, so giving.
“King Solomon offered as a sacrifice 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep” (v5a). This was not your average, everyday, ordinary sacrifice. This is sacrifice to the max. This is Solomon thinking, not how little can I give to God, but how much can I offer. What can I give that will really show the world that God is important to me. It is Solomon saying, “I want to obey God so much that everybody around me will grasp that God is super significant.”
These people went so far in their sacrificing that they had to set aside extra room in order to be able to accommodate the offerings. Solomon ordered so many animals sacrificed as a gift to God that there was no way that they could all be sacrificed on the one altar. This was a big-time offering that the king made.
And let’s be sure that we do not miss the point. Every day, you are supposed to obey God. How will you do it? Specifically, how will you obey God as this Thanksgiving holiday approaches? Will you begrudgingly drag yourself out of bed and read a couple of verses so that you can say you did your duty? That doesn’t really honor God. Will you give your offering in such a way that your face will show that you really wish you could keep that money for something else? That doesn’t honor God. No, what honors God is when we obey him, but not just a little bit. It honors God when we obey him extravagantly.
Right now, think of something you know that you are supposed to be doing in obedience to God: giving thanks, sharing Jesus, loving your spouse, studying his word, singing his praises, giving to support ministry, praying, forgiving others, etc. Plan to obey God, but not just a little bit. If you glimpse God’s glory and remember his greatness, you will want to obey him more than just a little. How can you obey with extravagance? Pray and ask God, “Lord, help me to do what I should, but to do it with joy and to do it to the extreme.” Obey with extravagance as part of giving thanks.