One of my favorite holidays, perhaps my actual favorite, is Thanksgiving.
It is a holiday spent with family seated around a table with a big spread.
The whole purpose is to think about all the things you have been blessed with.
You can think about all the ways God has blessed you.
It is very uplifting to have a whole holiday where we all collectively count our blessings.
This concept of thanksgiving is strewn throughout the Scriptures.
There are three words used to express this idea.
In English, various forms of the word “thank” are found 140 times – 74 in OT, 66 in NT.
A Hebrew word is todah (תּוֹדָה), found 39 times translated as some form of thanks 24 times.
Another Hebrew word yadah (יָדָה), found 114 times translated as some form of thanks 40 times; Aramaic form found 2 more times.
In Greek, we see various forms of the word eucharisteo (εὐχαριστέω), found 55 times.
Thanksgiving is a major theme of the Scriptures.
Let’s look at some of those commands this evening.
Last Sunday we talked about the peace offering was meant to be an offering of thanksgiving to the Lord for all the blessings He had provided.
This was meant as a freewill offering, to praise God for the great times.
And why wouldn’t we want to thank Him for His blessings?
2 Sam. 22:50; 1 Chron 16:4, 7-8, 34-35, 41; Psa. 107:1, 8, 15, 21-22, 31.
What better way to thank God but in song?
David was singing the praises of God after the Lord delivered him from his enemies (22:1).
He was praising God and thanking Him for being delivered (22:50).
Some Levites including Asaph were appointed to simply thank God (16:4, 41).
David and Asaph sang praises to God for the return of the ark to Jerusalem (16:7-8).
This was so they could restore proper worship to God.
They were glad to worship God in the way He wanted (16:34-35).
In the first psalm of Book V, Psalm 107, it is a psalm of thanksgiving, mentioned 6 times directly.
Thanks for God’s enduring mercy.
Thanks for His goodness and wonderful works, mentioned repeatedly (107:8, 15, 21, 31).
Offering a sacrifice of thanksgiving (107:22).
The NT talks about thanksgiving often, too.
Jesus healing 10 lepers healed, when only 1, a Samaritan, thanks Him (Luke 17:11-19).
A hypocritical offering of thanks by a Pharisee over a humble tax collector (Luke 18:9-14).
Jesus gave thanks before meals, feeding 5000 and Last Supper; Paul did as well on a boat in the midst of a storm after a two week fast (Acts 27:35).
Paul said that food was to be received with thanksgiving (1 Tim. 4:4-5).
Paul frequently thanked God for those to whom he was writing in Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse, Thessalonica, and to the man Philemon.
Paul also lists lack of thankfulness as a trait of those with dark and foolish hearts (Rom. 1:21).
We should thank God for our salvation, for the victory in Jesus, for His indescribable gift (1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 9:15; 1 Tim. 1:12).
We should always be giving thanks, and our prayers should be laced with thanksgiving (Eph. 5:20; Phil. 4:6; Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:18; Heb. 13:15).
In whatever we do, it must be done by His authority with thankfulness (Col. 3:17).
A whole sermon could be devoted to each of these points and passages.
The point I’m trying to drive home is how important thankfulness is to us as Christians.
The pages of Scripture are dripping with gratitude to God for all His mighty works.
Let it not be for just a day or even a month, but let it be an attitude we have all year round!
One of those things we are to be thankful for is our salvation, but that doesn’t apply to you if you’re not saved.
Paul says (1 Tim. 1:12-16).
Will you obtain mercy and gain access to the grace of God that is exceedingly abundant?
Will you follow his pattern that Christ gave to those who believe? …
He believed, repented, and was baptized (Acts 22:16).
He went through so much for Christ, both internally and externally.
Yet he was so thankful for the exceedingly abundant grace of God!