2017-11-23 / Worship

An Old Testament Thanksgiving

By REV. FICKLEN GUIN
(Deuteronomy 16:9-15)

The Thanksgiving season is a special time in the life of our nation. It is founded in our Christian belief of God our Creator.

It is in accordance to the teachings of our Heavenly Father, to pause at a certain time and give thanks to God for the many blessings we have received during the year.

Our forefathers who founded our nation felt God’s blessing and wished to give their thanks in a special way by giving thanks together, as a people who had discovered a new land.

Families came together to give thanks to God by celebrating around a great feast of food representing the blessings from God. Eventually our nation set aside this day that we call Thanksgiving for this special celebration.

What is said about Thanksgiving in God’s Word the Bible? God commands that we set aside a certain time for Thanksgiving. Deuteronomy 16:9 says, “Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the grain.”

God is letting us know that our harvest season is the time for us to give thanks to God; therefore, we celebrate the latter Thursday in November, toward the end of our harvest season. God commands that we celebrate: “And thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter and thy maid servant and thy man servant and the Levite who is within thy gates and the sojourner and the fatherless and the widow who are among you, in the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to place his name there.” (verse 11)

God is letting us know how important it is for us to give thanks for our God-given blessings.

God also commands that we remember during this time: “And thou shalt remember that thou wast a slave in Egypt.” (verse 12) God is saying to us that it is very important to remember the times that were not so good. That way we can count our blessings in the proper spirit to God our supplier.

How do we celebrate this period of time? God says, “And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God with a tribute of a free will offering of thine land, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.” (verse 10)

Then God says there should be a special time of worship to our Lord. “And thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God.” (verse 11a) During a chosen season of the year called harvest time, God says we should observe seven days after we have gathered our grain and vine. “Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast,” unto the Lord thy God in the place where the Lord shall choose.” (verses 13, 15)

Who is to observe this feast? In Deuteronomy 16:14 God says that everyone should give thanks for all of God’s blessings.

Thanksgiving is a time of coming together for a nation and its people, for God’s blessings, to celebrate and give thanks. Let us all celebrate with each other, giving thanks unto God for all the blessings He has given to us as a Christian nation.

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