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A Thanksgiving Meditation

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.”- Psalm 92:1

On the fourth Thursday of November the people of the United States, by proclamation of the President, are asked to pause from their ordinary pursuits of life to express thanks to God for the bounties with which he has blessed them throughout the year. In the hearts of many people, there is certainly a sincere feeling of appreciation to the Giver of every good gift, and they are happy to have this special opportunity of expressing their thankfulness. —James 1:17

GIVE THANKS EVERY DAY

It is true that we should look for every day to be one of thanksgiving—not merely one day in the year—for the blessings of the Lord which we enjoy at all times. These blessings are more than just the material good things of life—for food and clothing and shelter—but also for family and friends. Many in the western world are thankful that they still enjoy a measure of liberty to worship as they choose. The apostle Paul counsels us to “In everything give thanks.”—I Thess. 5:18

In addition we are especially thankful that the Lord continues to supply us with spiritual food—“meat in due season”—by which we are strengthened and enabled to grow in Christ Jesus. (Luke 12:42) We are especially thankful for the wonderful circle of friends with whom we enjoy sweet fellowship in the Lord, that as sons of God we are members of his family and share in common so many wonderful joys and blessings associated with that relationship. (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 3:26) Not the least of these is the privilege we have of working in the service of the Lord and of his Truth.

SING PRAISES

Our theme text says, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.” It is a ‘good’ thing in the sense that it is appropriate and logical. It is “good” because a failure to give thanks to God for his blessings would indicate a lack of appreciation. If we truly appreciate what the Lord is doing for us from day to day, our thanksgiving will spontaneously go to him. It is also a ‘good’ thing to give thanks because it increases our own love for the Lord and our determination to please him and to be faithful to him. True appreciation of Divine blessings should be one of the motives in our zeal to know and do God’s will.

It is also a “good thing,” David writes, “to sing praises” to the name of our God. Giving thanks to God for his loving-kindness is done more particularly in individual and congregational prayers to him. In contrast, singing his praises seems to be more in the nature of a public proclamation by which others are informed of Divine love. The Apostle Peter, for example, speaks of showing “forth the praises of him who hath called you [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light.”—I Peter 2:9

In the verse following our theme text David speaks of showing forth the Lord’s “lovingkindness in the morning” and his “faithfulness every night”—or as the marginal translation states, “in the nights.” “In the morning” and “in the nights” suggests a continuous showing forth of the Lord’s praises. This is not something which we do as an obligation once a year. One whose heart has been touched by the loving-kindness of our God will not be able to refrain from showing forth his praises at all times, that is, on all suitable occasions and in all proper ways.—Psa. 19:1

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