Summary: A look at the first Thanksgiving as it is recorded in scripture.

A Tithe Of Thanksgiving

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 (NIV)

November 24, 2002

Firstfruits and Tithes

1 When you have entered the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, 2 take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the LORD your God is giving you and put them in a basket. Then go to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name 3 and say to the priest in office at the time, "I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come to the land the LORD swore to our forefathers to give us." 4 The priest shall take the basket from your hands and set it down in front of the altar of the LORD your God. 5 Then you shall declare before the LORD your God: "My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous. 6 But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, putting us to hard labor. 7 Then we cried out to the LORD , the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. 8 So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with miraculous signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; 10 and now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, O LORD , have given me." Place the basket before the LORD your God and bow down [to worship] him. 11 And you and the Levites and the aliens among you shall rejoice in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household. (NIV)


Twas the night of Thanksgiving, But I just couldn’t sleep.

I tried counting backwards, I tried counting sheep

The leftovers beckoned --- The dark meat and white,

But I fought the temptation with all of my might.

Tossing and turning with anticipation......

The thought of a snack became infatuation.....

So I raced to the kitchen, Flung open the door,

And gazed at the fridge full of goodies galore.

I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,

Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.

I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,

Till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground !!

I crashed through the ceiling. Floating into the sky....

With a mouth full of pudding and a hand full of pie,

But I managed to yell as I soared past the trees....................



History of Thanksgiving; Harvest Festivals

purposes thereof: celebration of bounty; enjoyment of the toils of labor

The Command

1. Gave Recognition

A. God as Provider

"The land you gave"

Psalm 24:1 "The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein" (RSV)

B. God of Promise

Words are spoken on the brink of entering the land of promise

"Inheritance"-promise to Abraham

1. Lineage

Genesis 13:16 "I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your descendants also can be counted." (RSV)

Genesis 15:5 "And he brought him outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’" (RSV)

2. Land

Genesis 13:14-15,17 "The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see I will give to you and to your descendants for ever. . . Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you." (RSV)

3. Preeminence

Genesis 12:2-3 "And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves." (RSV)

Recantation of Salvation History -provides the link between promise to Abraham and promise to Moses ("You will worship me on this mountain")

Past (Abraham) -Present (Moses) -Future (Acquisition of land)

2. Gave Priority


Exodus 22:29-30 "You shall not delay to offer from the fulness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The first-born of your sons you shall give to me. You shall do likewise with your oxen and with your sheep" (RSV)

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