To who and why are you thankful?
As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, it’s a good time to consider who you are thankful to and why you are thankful. Psalm 136:1 says; “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.”
Psalm 136 has 26 verses each speaking about an aspect of God’s love and each line ending with the phrase; “His love endures forever.” Originally the Psalm may have been a responsive song where Israel’s Priest would call out a characteristic of God’s love then the worshipers would respond in unison with; “His love endures forever.” The Psalm gives us eight different elements of God’s enduring love.
God’s goodness (Verse 1)
Do you know that God is good? In a world with darkness and evil, where you may experience pain and sorrow, God’s goodness is a solid place to rest your faith. In Matthew 11:28 (Jesus said) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” The goodness of God was demonstrated as Jesus laid down his life as a ransom for sin. “Give Him thanks.”
God is Almighty (Verse 2-3)
He is the God of God’s and Jesus is called the Lord of Lord’s. “Give Him thanks.”
God is the creator (Verse 4-9)
All creation sings his praise because he made the heavens and the earth. “Give Him thanks.”
God is the deliverer (Verse 10-15)
Israel was delivered from the bondage of Egypt and believers in Christ are delivered from sin. “Give Him thanks.”
God is the protector (Verses 16-20)
When Israel was moving though the land, God’s protection was with them as they conquered their enemies. So in Christ the Jesus follower is protected from the enemy of our souls. “Give Him thanks.
God is the provider (Verses 21-22)
God provided Israel with water from a rock, bread from heaven, and all they needed. So Jesus said; don’t worry about your physical needs because God will provide. He said look at the birds and the flowers, they never worry yet God because provides for them and you are more valuable than a bird. From there Jesus gave us our top priority. “…Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (provision) will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33-34) “Give Him thanks.”
God gives mercy (Verse 23-25)
The Psalm speaks of how God remembers us “in our low estate.” God grants mercy to those who do not deserve it and grace to all who call upon Christ. “Give Him thanks.”
God is God (Verse 26)
Finally our Psalm points back to where it started, who God is. Give him thanks because he is God, and he knows we are but flesh. Give thanks because he is the loving God who sent his son as the savior and he is merciful toward all who trust in Christ. I hope this Thanksgiving we can all do as our Psalm says; “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good and his love endures forever.”
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.