People of Thanksgiving
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn reminds us that the Bible calls us to be people of thanksgiving. When we realize how much God has given to us, it is easy to do that. The major festivals in Israel were to give thanks to God. Cahn also tells us that "Thanksgiving in America is based on Sukkot, the Hebrew feast of tabernacles." This festival lasts for seven days and nights. The people are to dwell in booths to remember how God provided for them for their entire journey in the wilderness. And they are to give thanks to Him for His faithfulness.
As Believers, we can continue to give thanks and praise to God for His goodness and faithfulness.
However, His most precious gift, the one that stands above all others and is a game changer for our lives, is the gift of salvation and eternal life. Even though it is undeserved, this gift was given to us freely. There isn't any work we can do or price we can pay for it. This priceless gift cost God everything! It is God's desire that every one of us accept what He did in sacrificing His Son, Jesus, so that all of us will have eternal life. A recognition of the magnitude of this gift should compel us to live lives dedicated to Him.
The Bible is full of writings that show us how to give thanks to the Lord. Let's look at some of these Scriptures:
King David made sure that thanksgiving to God was part of the lifestyle of his people. He wrote many prayers and psalms that the priests were to use as they sang and declared God's goodness. "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Cry out, 'Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to Your holy name, and glory in your praise.' Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting." (1 Chronicles 16:34-36)
"Praise be to You, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; You are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from You; You are the ruler of all things. In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now our God, we give you thanks, and praise Your glorious name." (1 Chronicles 29:10-13)
Notice that these prayers of thanks have a prophetic flavor to them. They were written before the days of Jesus, The Savior, but clearly point to Him. Jesus demonstrated giving thanks to God whenever He shared a meal with someone. Consider this: He even gave thanks for the sacrifice He was going to make for us in the communion meal He had with His disciples. "While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is My body.' Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'" (Matthew 26:26-28)
We are meant to be people of praise and thanksgiving. Let us use this season to remember all the blessings we have received from the Lord and give Him all the honor and glory for the abundance He has poured out upon us.
Joan E. Mathias