Summary: A Thanksgiving Weekend Service. Thankful for His creation, His mercy, and Thanksgiving as an attitude.
Most of us know the story of the first Thanksgiving—at least, we know the Pilgrim version. But how many of us know the Indian viewpoint? No, I’m not talking about some revisionist, p.c. version of history. I’m talking about the amazing story of the way God used an Indian named Squanto as a special instrument of His providence.
Historical accounts of Squanto’s life vary, but historians believe that around 1608—more than a decade before the Pilgrims landed in the New World—a group of English traders, led by a Captain Hunt, sailed to what is today Plymouth, Massachusetts. When the trusting Wampanoag Indians came out to trade, Hunt took them prisoner, transported them to Spain, and sold them into slavery.
But God had an amazing plan for one of the captured Indians—a boy named Squanto.
Squanto was bought by a well-meaning Spanish monk, who treated him well and taught him the Christian faith. Squanto eventually made his way to England and worked in the stable of a man named John Slaney. Slaney sympathized with Squanto’s desire to return home, and he promised to put the Indian on the first vessel bound for America. It wasn’t until 1619—ten years after Squanto was first kidnapped—that a ship was found. Finally, after a decade of exile and heartbreak, Squanto was on his way home.
But when he arrived in Massachusetts, more heartbreak awaited him. An epidemic had wiped out Squanto’s entire village. We can only imagine what must have gone through Squanto’s mind. Why had God allowed him to return home, against all odds, only to find his loved ones dead? A year later, the answer came. A shipload of English families arrived and settled on the very land once occupied by Squanto’s people. Squanto went to meet them, greeting the startled Pilgrims in English. According to the diary of Pilgrim Governor William Bradford, Squanto “became a special instrument sent of God for [our] good . . . He showed [us] how to plant [our] corn, where to take fish and to procure other commodities . . . and was also [our] pilot to bring [us] to unknown places for [our] profit, and never left [us] till he died.” When Squanto lay dying of a fever, Bradford wrote that their Indian friend “desir[ed] the Governor to pray for him, that he might go to the Englishmen’s God in heaven.” Squanto bequeathed his possessions to his English friends “as remembrances of his love.” Who but God could so miraculously weave together the lives of a lonely Indian and a struggling band of Englishmen? It’s hard not to make comparisons with the biblical story of Joseph, who was also sold into slavery—and whom God likewise used as a special instrument for good. Squanto’s life story is remarkable, and we ought to make sure our children and grandchildren learn about it. While you’re enjoying turkey and pumpkin pie tomorrow, share with your kids the Indian side of the Thanksgiving story. Tell them about Squanto, the “special instrument sent of God”—who changed the course of American history. Charles Colson, BreakPoint Commentary, November 25, 1998, (c) 1998 Prison Fellowship Ministries
GOD IS AT WORK IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE TODAY! LET’S GIVE THANKS TO THE GOD OF HEAVEN.
I. THANKS FOR HIS CREATION. “Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth.”
A) A truth that is under attack like never before.
B) A truth that is defensible by scientific understanding:
1) Science is continually catching up with Genesis. Things taught in so called science text books have be disproven over and over in support of the simple Biblical view creation.
2) The tassel eared squirrels found on the North and South side of the Grand Canyon give evidence of a young earth. Evolutionist say that these squirrels have been separated for millions of years since the formation of the Grand Canyon. If that were true and these squirrels showed the evolutionary progress of these millions of years, they would be vastly different from one another. The truth is they are almost identical. There are some slight coloration differences. Differences that come from environmental adaptation of only a few thousand years, not millions of years.
3) Almost 50% of this country believe that God created all things, they just believe that He used evolution to do it. Christian Scientist are actively doing battle against evolution. You won’t see any positive media coverage about it. Evolution is presented as scientific while creationism is presented as ignorant religion. The truth is that strictly following the rules and laws of Science will lead one to accept Creationism and a young earth rather than the pagan religion of evolution.
4) Many say I accept that God created the world, I just don’t believe He did it in a literal 6 days. But the validity of scripture depends on it. Exodus 20:8-11