Reasons for Giving Thanks

Reasons for Giving Thanks
Psalm 136

It is my hope and prayer you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Gratitude doesn’t come natural to many of us.  This is one of the first things we were taught, and we then tried to teach our children-to be grateful.

 What do you say?” Say thank you.  How often we go through life and forget to show gratitude to others; how about gratitude to God? “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward

In our nation, at least once a year, we are reminded to be thankful and share with others during the Thanksgiving season.

What do people do to show others how thankful they are?  They say it often “Thank you!”  They give gifts, send cards, bake pies, give plaques and so forth.  In Biblical times, people would give offerings to God to show gratitude for his provisions.  Some people even composed songs dedicated to thanking God in worship.  There is a whole book in the Bible made of songs used in praise and worship of God.  The writers expressed their emotions, attitudes and experiences in life.

When you read the Psalms, you will find thanksgiving expressed to God for his deeds.  The Psalms were songs used in the Jewish worship.  They had Psalms of praise, wisdom, lament and Thanksgiving.  Psalm 136 is one of those used to express gratitude to Yahweh. Psalms that begin with the phrase “Give thanks to the LORD” (Ps.75,105, 106, 107, 118, 136)

Psalm 136:1-26

It starts by commanding the worshiper to give thanks the LORD for he is good, his love endures forever.

Why should you give thanks to the LORD?
-He is good.  God’s goodness is one of his attributes.  That is who he is, he cannot be bad.  God’s goodness does not depend on our understanding or our opinion about him.  He is good.
-Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shirting shadows. (James 1:17)
He is above all gods and He is Lord of lords. (v.2)  “There is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” Nebuchadnezzar. Dan.3:29

We can see God’s goodness and love in the things he does. V.4 (He alone does great wonders)

In his creation.  He created the heavens and the earth.  (v.5-9)  God saw what he had created and he said it was good. His works are good.

Det.32:3-4  I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!  4He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.  A faithful God who does no wrong upright and just is he. NIV
God’s goodness is seen in his righteous judgment. (v.10-20)

His is a righteous judge; his judgments are always right.
Struck down Israel’s enemies
-HE poured out judgment on those who came against his people.

God also judged his people in allowing them to go through the dessert for 40 years.  He disciplined his children during those years of wilderness wandering. (v.16) Some did not even make it to enjoy their inheritance.  God is a righteous judge; he means exactly what he says and says what he means.  Those who attacked his people ended up dead.

The writer reminisced about the history in which God’s goodness and love was displayed through his judgment.  -He struck down the Egyptians (v.10); he struck down great kings (v.17) Sihon and Og (v.19-20)

God’s goodness and everlasting love are evident in his care for his people.  HE showed them his love in protecting them from their enemies, providing for them and bringing them to their inheritance.  God did all this because he is good, and his love endures forever.  God’s goodness and love are shown in what he does on behalf of his people. All this should cause his people to thank him.

He did all those things because his love endured from generation to generation.  His love endures forever.

God’s action on your behalf should cause you to give thanks to him.  Show gratitude to the Lord of lords and King of kings.  When you understand who God is, and his love for you it will prompt you to appreciate him more.  David called him, the God who is good, the God above gods, the LORD of lords whose love never fails. 

 (v.23-26) To the LORD we give thanks because:
he remembered us in our low estate.  He doesn’t abandon us during our difficult times, he remembered our low condition.
He rescued us from our enemies (His love is everlasting)
He gives food to every creature on earth. (He provides for his creation; his love never fails)

His love endures forever.  His protection and provisions are reasons for giving thanks.

Whatever you are going through right now, are you showing God how grateful you are for his love and goodness toward you?  He is good, and his love endures forever, and it is displayed in his care for his people, his judgments and disciplines to those who oppose his ways; He remembers us, he rescues us from our enemies, he provides for our needs.  When you get to experience God’s goodness and love you have no choice but to be thankful.  He is good, and his love endures forever.


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