Thanksgiving Lessons

Posted by Site Admin On 11:40 AM

by Samuel Geroy
   It was good to learn about Thanksgiving last November. Psalm 103 taught us that thanking God is worth so much because it makes us know His greatness in contrast to our nothingness. Doing it enhances our usefulness in a broken world, prepares us for life in eternity and expands our lives today.
   We also studied Psalm 96 that anticipated from Old Testament times the World Missions that the New Testament people will undertake (Matthew 28:16-20, I Chronicles 16:25-30).  Thanking God for who He is, for what He does and because He is coming to judge all peoples in His truth.  Then His glory will be declared among all nations as they hear the Good News about the Savior.
   Then in Psalm 8, David balances perceiving his identity as a weak human being with his self-esteem so that he will maintain both his self confidence and humanity.  In a higher mode, this Psalm is predicting the humility and exultation of Christ.  David saw a balance by giving all glory to God (8).  Next, David appreciated what the LORD gave him in Psalm 63.  After seeing his own weakness and humanity, he focused on the God-given position and privilege, thereby achieving the balance by giving God the glory.
   He wrote the insight that God's love is greater than life itself and the insight that praising God is a strong defense against human weakness - like pride, ambition and fleshly desires.

   Then the psalmist added in Psalm 92 that joy comes from praise.  This joy is proclaimed by the psalmist in the morning and evening with instruments of music that focus on God's saving acts.  The evildoers do not do this.  But the righteous rejoices in God's favor and secure prosperity.  This is the believer's strong defense to human weakness.  It is important therefore the believer to give a balanced Thanksgiving as expressed in Psalm 115.  Here he must give God glory in order to balance his struggles and achievements.  Just like during the Battle of Jericho (Joshua 6) the Jewish army was led by the priests who praised the LORD while they marched around the city withing seven days.  This happened in 1,400 BC, 3,500 years ago.  On the seventh, after marching around seven times, the Israeli army shouted "Glory to God!"  Then the walls of Jericho collapse, Joshua's soldiers conquered the city.  Psalm 115 reminds God's people never to take pride of their achievements but always give Him all glory.
   Psalm 96 also speaks of thanksgiving on the balance.  King Jehoshaphat went to battle against Moab and Mt. Seir (2 Chronicles 20:21-23) in 872 BC, 2,000 years ago with men going ahead of the army praising God for the splendor of His holiness.  His enemies destroyed one another and Israel achieved a great victory.  The Psalmist wrote that when God's people praise, they sing, bless His name, show forth His salvation and declare His glory.  Then they must also invite all nations to give Him glory too.  Also, proclaim to them that He reigns the world in righteousness and the He will also judge the righteous - being the LORD of history.

   For us, these lessons about continued praise never stop because we will never exhaust all the dimensions of thanksgiving because of the LORD's greatness forever.