Summary: Thanksgiving is a day which is recognized by the United States Government to give thanks to the Lord God Almighty. Yes - it is a religious holiday and as you study the history of this day you clearly see that it was about giving thanks to the Lord for all
Thesis: Thanksgiving is a day which is recognized by the United States Government to give thanks to the Lord God Almighty. Yes - it is a religious holiday and as you study the history of this day you clearly see that it was about giving thanks to the Lord for all his divine provision for the country and for us as individuals.
A PSALM. FOR GIVING THANKS.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
A PSALM OF PRAISE. OF DAVID.
1 Iwill exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
2 Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
5 They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
6 They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All you have made will praise you, O LORD;
your saints will extol you.
11 They will tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all men may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.
14 The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward all he has made.
18 The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The LORD watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.
Video Illustration: From Blue Fish TV – Presidential Prayers
Historical Background of Thanksgiving:
Information from Dennis Rupert “The True Thanksgiving Story”
Who observed the first Thanksgiving?
The first recorded Christian thanksgiving in America occurred in Texas on May 23, 1541 when Spanish explorer, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, and his men held a service of thanksgiving after finding food, water, and pasture for their animals in the Panhandle.
Another thanksgiving service occurred on June 30, 1564 when French Huguenot colonists celebrated in solemn praise and thanksgiving in a settlement near what is now Jacksonville, Florida.
On August 9, 1607 English settlers led by Captain George Popham joined Abnaki Indians along Maine’s Kennebec River for a harvest feast and prayer meeting. The colonists, living under the Plymouth Company charter, established Fort St. George around the same time as the founding of Virginia’s Jamestown colony. Unlike Jamestown, however, this site was abandoned a year later.
Two years before the Pilgrims on December 4, 1619, a group of 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Plantation in what is now Charles City, Virginia. The group’s charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a day of thanksgiving to God. Captain John Woodleaf held the service of thanksgiving. Here is the section of the Charter of Berkley Plantation which specifies the thanksgiving service:
"Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty god."
What about the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving?
In a children’s book called The First Thanksgiving, the author, Jean Craighead George says, the Pilgrims left Europe "to seek their fortune in the New World."1 That would have come as news to the Pilgrims themselves. Pilgrim leader William Bradford wrote in his diary that the voyage was motivated by "a great hope for advancing the kingdom of Christ."