Steve Ellison: Giving Thanks

Monday, November 22, 2021

Is there anyone who does not enjoy having his work celebrated? Is there anyone who does not like being acknowledged for a job well done? Is there anyone who does not enjoy being congratulated for an accomplishment? Is there anyone who does not appreciate a word of praise? Is there anyone who is not happy when thankfulness is expressed to him? Perhaps, one might be found but I doubt it. Oh, he might make an outward gesture to brushing these things aside but deep down, everyone likes to be thanked.

Surely, I need to make a better effort at thanking people. More importantly and more certainly, I need to more regularly and consistently thank my God.  He is the highest good in the universe. Why would I neglect such a great privilege of thanking Him personally for His myriad of blessings (air, water, eyesight, hearing, sense of smell, heat, light, food, taste buds, laws of nature, animals, health, human relationships, music, love, mercy, justice, wrath, forgiveness, grace, redemption, salvation, justification, sanctification, imputed righteousness, adoption, a place in heaven, an inheritance, etc. and etc.)? I fall far short of regular, consistent, comprehensive thankfulness. What is wrong with me?

 

First Chronicles 16 is an instructive passage in Thankfulness. The Ark of the Covenant is finally brought to its intended place at Jerusalem. Because the Israelites had not taken the holiness of God seriously, they had failed miserably in their previous attempt, and it had cost them dearly (1 Chronicles 13).  They are successful this time and are ready to give thanks. First Chronicles 16:8-15 gives a blueprint of sorts for thanking God,  Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. 9 Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders. 10 Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad. 11 Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually. 12 Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth, 13 O seed of Israel His servant, Sons of Jacob, His chosen ones! 14 He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. 15 Remember His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations. (NASU)

 

The God of the Bible is the greatest good in the universe. The best thing I can do for mankind is give thanks to Him and call upon His name (v.8). As a side note, much of Romans 1 is devoted to the tragic folly of refusing this basic principle that governs creation. It naturally follows, that the highest good that I can do is to make His deeds known among the peoples of the world. I cannot possibly love my neighbor if I do not make God’s deeds known to them (v.8).  I ought to sing and speak praises to God for His miraculous works (v.9).  I should ascribe the highest honor and glory to His holy name (v.10). If my heart is not glad about the Lord, it can only be because I do not seek Him (v.10). If I seek the Lord, His strength, and His face continually, I will be thankful (v.11) That is a can’t miss proposition. If I am truly in the family of God, I will marvel at not only His deeds but also His perfectly just judgments which reverberate all around the earth (v.12-14). Praise God for His just judgments!

 

Verse 15 tells me to remember His covenant forever. His covenant is what offers reconciliation to me. His covenant is that He first loved me when I was still His enemy. His covenant is an offer to see me in Christ, exchanging my guilt for His innocence. How can I neglect to be thankful?


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