Summary: Moses led the people of God in remembering things they easily forgot. They didn’t have turkey…but they had eaten quail for decades now! Link included to formatted text and PowerPoint Presentation.
Thanksgiving 1,456 B.C.
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Several other Thanksgiving sermons can be seen here:
It may not have been November, and they may not have had a 4 day weekend. Perhaps they weren’t greeted by Indians and didn’t feel much like settling down and ‘colonizing’ that wilderness. I’m sure they had no brass buckles or black hats to put them on. But the people of God in our text DID have much to be thankful for…and Moses reminded them of what they so easily and oft forgot.
40 years before this day God delivered them from slavery in Egypt, across the Red Sea miraculously, and set them on course for even better things in the Promised Land, not far away.
2 (There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.) 3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year…
So much for a quick trip! These were God’s children, but they quickly forgot His wonderful works, and by focusing on the negative—what they didn’t have—and for murmuring and complaining and not being thankful, God allowed them to turn an 11 day scenic tour into a 40 year grudge match of meandering and mayhem. A whole generation of adults died, and now their kids were given another chance.
They didn’t have turkey…but they had eaten quail for decades now! There wasn’t any gravy, noodles, or stuffing, but they had prepared manna every which way to Sunday: fried manna, boiled manna, pickled manna, breaded manna, baked manna, reduced fat manna, and manna on the half shell, and for dessert some banana manna or pineapple upside down manna! Moses takes some time to recount all that God had done for them and how they shouldn’t forget, but stop and give thanks.
Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Moses reminded Israel of:
1. GOD’S PROVIDENCE. - "God hath blessed thee"
It was gratitude that prompted an old man to visit an old broken pier on the eastern seacoast of Florida. Every Friday night, until his death in 1973, he would return, walking slowly and slightly stooped with a large bucket of shrimp. The seagulls would flock to this old man, and he would feed them from his bucket. Many years before, in October, 1942, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker was on a mission in a B-17 to deliver an important message to General Douglas MacArthur in New Guinea. But there was an unexpected detour which would hurl Captain Eddie into the most harrowing adventure of his life.
Somewhere over the South Pacific the Flying Fortress became lost beyond the reach of radio. Fuel ran dangerously low, so the men abandoned their plane for the ocean. For nearly a month Captain Eddie and his companions would fight the water, the weather, and the scorching sun. They spent many sleepless nights recoiling as giant sharks rammed their rafts.
But of all their enemies at sea, one proved most formidable—starvation. Eight days out, their rations were long gone or destroyed by the salt water. It would take a miracle to sustain them. And a miracle occurred. As Captain Rickenbacker said, "Something landed on my head. I knew that it was a seagull. I don’t know how I knew, I just knew. Everyone else knew too. No one said a word, but peering out from under my hat brim without moving my head, I could see the expression on their faces. They were staring at that gull. The gull meant food if I could catch it."
Captain Eddie caught the gull. They consumed most of it, and the rest was used for bait to catch fish. The survivors were sustained and their hopes renewed because a lone sea gull, uncharacteristically hundreds of miles from land, became a sacrifice.
Captain Eddy never forgot, because every Friday evening, about sunset, he would visit that pier to remember the seagull, which on a day long past, gave itself without a struggle.
This man was thankful for what that seagull had done for him. To show his thanks, he served those seagulls by bringing them food. If that man was willing to commit the rest of his life to feeding the seagulls, how much more should we commit our lives to Christ? How much more should we serve Him? After all, He saved us not just from an earthly death, but from an eternal death!
As told by Dr. Paul Chappell
God in His providence has always taken care of you. Will you now make Him a return commitment? Don’t just mind your own business…make the Lord’s business your heart’s desire for the remainder of your life. Do your givin’ while you’re livin’, and remember, there’s only 1 life, ‘twill soon be past, and only what’s done for Christ will last!