Summary: This is my annual Thanksgiving Message for 2007
November 18, 2007
It’s Thanksgiving Day & the aroma of roast turkey fills Charlie Brown’s house. Snoopy, outside, lying on top of his doghouse, smells that aroma, & he is thinking, “It’s Thanksgiving Day. Everybody eats turkey on Thanksgiving Day.” So he lies there, watching the back door, eagerly awaiting his Thanksgiving dinner.
Finally, the door opens & here comes Charlie Brown with a bowl of dog food, & he puts it on the ground. Snoopy gets off his house & stares at the dog food with a forlorn look on his face. And he thinks, “Just because I’m a dog, I have to eat dog food on Thanksgiving Day.”
Then the next square shows him looking at the dog food more intently, & he is thinking, “It could be worse. I could be the turkey.”
Most of us take a great deal in life for granted. Most of us complain more than we thank. Most of us are more often displeased with something than grateful. Most of us live out of our abundance and not our need. Most of us are far less thankful than we should be. There are 138 passages of scripture that deal with the subject of being thankful. God places a high emphasis on being thankful and so should the church.
"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving." W. T. Purkiser
It was Thanksgiving season in the nursing home. The small resident population was gathered about their humble Thanksgiving table, and the director asked each in turn to express one thing for which they were thankful. Thanks were expressed for a home in which to stay, families, etc. One little old lady in her turn said, ’I thank the Lord for two perfectly good teeth, one in my upper jaw and one in my lower jaw that match so that I can chew my food.’
The Old Testament carries a repeating theme of praise that flows throughout the text: Give thanks to the LORD for He is good and His love endures forever
This phrase or a form of it appears in the Old Testament appears 45 separate times. It appears in five different books and in three Biblical genres (History, Wisdom and Prophets). This one phrase seems to almost be a battle cry for the people of Israel to offer praise to God. This one phrase echoes through the history of the Old Testament to capture the hearts of Israel.
Look at the pattern it sets:
1.) Give thanks
2.) Give thanks to the LORD
3.) Give thanks for God’s Goodness
4.) Give thanks for God’s love
The Hebrew language has no word for that simply means thanks. The word we translate as thanks in English means much more in Hebrew. The word yadah means, "to make public acknowledgment." This is the same word that we get our English word confess. This comes in two manners: confessing the name of God, publicly proclaiming His name and confessing our sins.
Giving thanks is an act of humbling ourselves before God and showing gratitude toward God for His bountiful blessings. When we confess the name of God, we are telling of all that He has done for us. When we confess our sins to God we are telling of all we have done against Him. Both take tremendous courage and humility.
Give thanks to the LORD
It is not enough to be thankful, we need to be thankful to the right person. We offer our thanks to the LORD. The Old Testament is clear that the only one who is worthy of our praised and thanksgiving is the LORD. The LORD is the one who made all things. The LORD is the one who made humanity in His image. The LORD who declared His name to Moses at the burning bush: Yahweh. This is the same God who called Abram to leave his home for the Promised Land. This is the same God who led the Israelites across dry land. This is the same God who told Noah to build the Ark. This is the same God who sent Jesus to be our savior.
Why do we need to thank God?
We thank God for His power
We thank God for His person
We thank God for His provision
We thank God for His protection
We thank God for His presence
We thank God for His pardon
Give thanks because He is good
We often use the word good to describe something as being of fair quality or describing things that we aren’t sure we care about. For example, if I tell someone that they did a good job; it doesn’t seem to carry the same weight if I said they did a great job. If I tell Elizabeth that she fixed a good meal, it doesn’t mean as much as saying she made a fantastic meal.