Summary: The author of this psalm shares several aspects of why God’s people need to be thankful and also how that thanks should be given.
I remember as a child, roughly about this time every year, one of the most popular books every published would be sent to our house. (Remember I’m speaking as a child). By this I mean the Sears and Roebuck Christmas catalog. As a child, I thought that there was nothing like the Sears catalog. I would set with the catalog and dream for hours, making out my Christmas list of what I wanted for Christmas. It is not uncommon for children to make out Christmas lists for what they want for Christmas. We all know that for New Year’s, people make out lists as well. I talking about their list of New Year’s resolutions, which if like most people, general last only to about the middle of December. However, there is one holiday that should have a list, but usually doesn’t, is Thanksgiving. I’m talking about a list of blessings for which we should be thankful. We all have much to be thankful for. I recently came across a list composed by several housewives of things for which they are thankful. Let me share part of the list with you.
§ For automatic dishwashers because they make it possible for us to get out of the kitchen before the family comes back in for their after-dinner snacks.
§ "For husbands who attack small repair jobs around the house because they usually make them big enough to call in the professionals.
§ "For children who put away their things & clean up after themselves. They’re such a joy you hate to see them go home to their own parents.
§ "For teenagers because they give parents an opportunity to learn a second language.
§ "For Smoke alarms because they let you know when the turkey’s done.
I sure that most of us could make a list of blessings for which we ought to thank God for. I believe that such a list could prove valuable through out the remainder of the year for there will be times of adversity, troubles, problems and heartaches that we will face and it wouldn’t hurt to pull out our list from time to time and review all the things for which we are thankful for. One of the chief dangers to our spirituality is that of being ungrateful and unthankful. Why is it that the more we are blessed, the greater the danger of becoming unthankful? The more we get, the less thankful we become, the less mindful of God we become, and the more we want. That may be the greatest danger the American Church faces as we enter into the 21st Century. God has blessed us so much, that we may loose sight of all that He has done. This was what Israel faced as they entered into the land of promise. Therefore eight times the book of Deuteronomy warns the Israelites to not forget the Lord, once they became established in Canaan. Yet those of you who know your Bible history, know that is exactly what happened, they forgot all that God had done for them and begin to serve other gods. Some scholars believe that the 100 Psalm was written for that purpose, to deal with the attitude of ingratitude, to remind us that we should never allow what God has done for us to be eclipsed by our prosperity. Many believe that this particular psalm was sung when the thanksgiving sacrifice was offered in the Temple. There are two assertions that this psalm makes regarding thanksgiving that we should keep before us this holiday season.
I. THE REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. (The Basis)
1. Why should we be thankful? What is the basis for thanksgiving? I read the story recently about a man in a restaurant, who having ordered and received his meal, sit down at a table and bowed his head to give thanks. A man who happened to be sitting nearby, spoke up and asked him if he had a headache. The first man replied no. He was then asked if he had something in his eyes, to which he replied no. So finally the man said, then why are you bowing your head and closing your eyes? The first man replied, “I bowed my head and gave God thanks for this food”. The second man laughed and said, “I never do that, I just sit down, pull up a chair and eat what is placed in front of me.” The first man replied, “Yes, I have a dog that does the same thing.” The second man failed to see the goodness of God.
Psalm 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.