A lesson of Thanksgiving from the Psalms
Published 1:12 pm Friday, November 26, 2021
By TONY HOSS
Within the pages of the Bible, God has given mankind one of the greatest literary works ever known. This work, the Psalms, is remarkable in that it contains psalms and poems from the heart of a shepherd boy, from the troubled mind of a man of God and it reveals to us the psyche of one of the world’s greatest kings. It gives us great insight of the soul of the very man that the Word of God refers to as a man after God’s own heart. Through the bad and the good times in his life, the inspired writings of David within the Psalms, reveal his thanksgiving for all that God did for him.
During this time of year, we should reflect on the writings of this book and remember that by the hand of God, there is much cause for thanksgiving. To help us reflect on the blessings of God, the Psalmist said, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men” (Psa. 107:1, 8, 15, 21, 31). These verses help us to see that regardless of the difficulties we may be enduring in life, that God has blessed each of us with so much.
There are the blessings that God has given to all men. He has given us air to breathe, water to satisfy our thirst, food to fill our stomachs and shelter to protect us from the elements. But there is so much more that God has given. Consider for a few moments what God has done in your life. Consider now some important things that each of us should never forget, things that we should be thankful for.
We should give thanksgiving for redemption. In Psalms 107:1-7, the writer reflects on the times when God brought Israel from adversity and returned them to the land He promised Abraham’s descendants. Even though God’s people sinned and rebelled, and even though they were scattered as a result of their sin, these verses remind us just how merciful God is toward His children. Those who were redeemed from the nations could so readily sing this psalm of thanksgiving. The same God, Jehovah, awaits our obedience to His will promising redemption from our sins. In this we should rejoice.
We, like the people of God from days gone by should be thankful for souls which have been refreshed following times of distress, hardship and by the adversity around us. At times their hearts were filled with darkness and affliction. Today we often experience the same feelings and similar problems. Yet, when they cried out to God, He heard them. Their souls were filled with the blessing He gave to them. We should be no different. Like those in days gone by, we can have the turmoil in our lives turned into joy because of God’s mercy. If we rely on God, He can give us what we are missing in our lives. The psalmist said, “Give thanks to the Lord for His wonderful works.”
We should be thankful for deliverance given to those who at times faced certain death. In Psalms 107:15-20, the Psalmist continues, pointing out that they were at times so burdened by the stress in their lives that they could not even eat, yet when they cried out to the Lord, He heard them and saved them out of all their afflictions. The Psalmist said, “Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works…”
The psalmist next addresses those who sailed the seas and found themselves surrounded by tempestuous waves. They would often find themselves in total distress and then would turn to God. In times without hope, God answered their plea and brought them safely home. God can do the same for us today if we faithfully serve Him and seek His mercy.
Christians should be ever thankful for the God of mercy, for the God who is with them in times of fruitfulness. We should always realize that fruitful seasons where sufficient waters and proper sun combined to bring an abundant harvest is from God who feeds His people. God always exalts those who yield to Him.
God’s people, and all men should be thankful from the depths of their hearts to the God who provides all things; both physically and spiritually. The images of this Psalm should help us in our present life situations to be thankful to God. It should help us because it is obvious what God has done and is willing to do for us. Are you thankful to God?
(Tony Hoss is minister at the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)