At Thanksgiving we should remember to give thanks to God. On October 3, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issued a formal proclamation, passed by an act of congress initiating the first annual National Day of Thanksgiving. It states:
“No human counsel has devised nor has any mortal hands worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, has nevertheless remembered mercy… I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwells in the heavens… [It is] announced in the Holy Scriptures and proved by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord…It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.”
How far we have come from our roots in thanking God for His bounty. Today Thanksgiving is more of a holiday with feasting and football. Though there is nothing wrong with that, we should recognize God’s hand not only in our personal life but in our nation’s life.
In Psalm 107:1 the psalmist said: “O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”
Why should we thank God? The answer is, we praise Him because He is good, we thank Him for His many good acts toward us and to all persons.
James Boice said: “There is an echo in the first three verses of this psalm of Deuteronomy 10:17, which says, ‘The Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome.’ The names or titles for God in Psalm 136 are from that verse: The Lord (Jehovah), God of gods and Lord of lords. This is the only true God, and He is mighty, as the following verses that deal with His power in creation remind us. He is also good, which means that His mighty acts are good acts and for our benefit. That is why the refrain ‘His love endures forever’ is so appropriate as a response to each of the psalms 26 assertions about God.”
If you read Psalm 136 you will see how wonderfully good God is.
Charles Spurgeon says this about God’s goodness: “He is good beyond all others; indeed, He alone is good in the highest sense; He is the source of good, the good of all good, the sustainer of good, the perfecter of good, and the rewarder of good. For this He deserves the constant gratitude of His people.”
If we want to know what real goodness is and enjoy it the place to find it is in God. We should be thankful for God’s love to us through His Son Jesus who has opened up for us God’s throne of grace that we may not only praise Him for His gift of eternal life to us but also receive grace upon grace.
Happy Thanksgiving. See you Sunday.