Finally, it’s the most wonderful time of the year – THANKSGIVING! For our special this Thanksgiving Day, we look to David’s psalm of praise in 1 Chronicles 16. David knew what he was thankful for and he understood the importance of thanksgiving. This understanding is why God calls David “a man after my own heart” in 1 Samuel 13:14. C.S. Lewis writes, in The Four Loves, that “Man approaches God most nearly when he is in one sense least like God. For what can be more unlike than fullness and need, sovereignty and humility, righteousness and penitence, limitless power and a cry for help?” In thanksgiving, we approach God most nearly by acknowledging that we need Him and that He gives what we need and that we appreciate Him for it all.
In thanksgiving, we approach God most nearly by acknowledging that we need Him and that He gives what we need and that we appreciate Him for it all.
In 1 Chronicles 16, the Ark of the Covenant is brought into Jerusalem for the first time. David was ecstatic that God allowed the people to bring the Ark into the city of David. David thusly orchestrated a nation-wide time of praise and thanksgiving. The author of the two books of Chronicles wrote the psalm that follows as a mash up of Psalms 105, 95, then 106 (respectively). King David orchestrated the first worship mash up – that’s right, the classic “How Great is Our God” / “How Great Though Art” was not the first Christian mash up, sorry guys. The reason these three psalm were used is because of our author and his reason for writing. The Chronicler (as the author shall thenceforth be referred to) used these three psalms because they were well-known psalms and the author wished to combat the theology of the cults who pushed an over reliance on the spiritual aspects of the Jewish religion. The Chronicler believed that God was intimately involved yet at a distance from the people of Israel.
“The theological profile of the psalm also conforms to his own religious priorities: the composite psalm is filled with calls to praise and thank God: a central theme of Chronicles, as are the greatness and awesomeness of God.” The Chronicler is a historian and a historian is always the best one fit for teaching others thankfulness. He looks at what was done and what could’ve only been done by the hand of God and expresses thanksgiving both for the good and for the judgments they endured – verse 12 calls us all to remember GOD’S miracles and His judgements. I extend this lesson to remember births and deaths of loved ones around you and to be thankful for their lives.
Personally, I experienced a period of brokenness in my life just earlier this year. I lost direction at school, wasn’t sure where I was going to live, lost my Papa, and I was struggling with the spirit of loneliness. Through this period of my life, God was able to remind me of who I am. I am thankful for this period. My friend suggested that I write out all of my experiences sense I began college and this brought me out of my period of brokenness, so I am thankful for good friends also. This act of writing things out is a form of chronicling and I had no plan on using this act to “heal” myself; however, through writing, I found a spirit of thanksgiving and a stronger faith in my life. In 1 Chronicles 16, we see this idea expressed in verses 12 – 22, where David and the people of Israel sing about all of the events that God did for them.
This is true faith. Faith is, as the Bible says, “assurance of what we do not see (1 Chronicles 16).” Faith comes through assurance and assurance comes through thanksgiving. Both The Chronicler and King David understood that to remember what God has done is to create a spirit of thanksgiving, and that spirit would lead to a stronger faith for the nation.
Faith comes through assurance and assurance comes through thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is more than just remembering though; it is also a form of worship. Verses 28 – 31 command all peoples, families, and nations to ascribe the praise and glory and honour due to the Lord. The word “ascribe” means “to attribute to”. We are all called to attribute something from ourselves to the Lord. Those who are truly thankful give to the Lord. We give to the Lord through offerings and tithes at church, or through giving to the homeless and needy. Jesus said “as you did it to one the least of these my brothers, you did it to me (Matthew 25:40).” To be in a spirit of thanksgiving is then to be in a spirit of giving.
Those who are truly thankful give to the Lord.
Thanksgiving is a lifestyle of remembering where your faith comes from and a lifestyle of giving.
Thanksgiving is more than a holiday, it is a lifestyle. Thanksgiving is a lifestyle of remembering where your faith comes from and a lifestyle of giving. By keeping this in mind we can all discipline ourselves to give to others and to remember where we all came from. So let’s all start now by having a time to say (comment below) what you are thankful for and then go out and feed someone who can’t feed themselves this holiday season! If we do this, then we will all come away in a spirit of thanksgiving and obtain a larger and stronger portion of faith.
The point is: Thanksgiving is a lifestyle of remembrance and of giving to the Lord and that lifestyle cultivates a strong faith.
Please comment below what you are thankful for, then share this post via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or whatever!!!!
Reading / Reference List:
 Lewis, C. S. The Four Loves. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1960. Print.
 Barton, John. The Oxford Bible Commentary. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2001. Print.
 Longman, Tremper. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Rev. ed. Vol. 4. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2006. Print.
 “Dr. Constable’s Expository (Bible Study) Notes.” Dr. Constable’s Bible Study Notes and Commentary. Web. 26 Nov. 2015.