Thanksgiving

Centuries ago the nation of Israel turned and watched as Moses stretched forth his hand and the walls of the Red Sea collapsed and returned to their strength. In awe Israel saw the mighty hosts of Pharaoh’s army overthrown in the sea, never again to oppress them. Now, with the subsequent restoration of God’s holy law through Moses, and their miraculous deliverance by Joshua into the Promised Land, Israel was once more a nation of free people, free in body, free in conscience, and free in nationality. Is it any wonder that Israel was so filled with joy and gratitude that they lifted their voices in song, thanking and praising God with all the power of their delivered souls?

Ever after that and for the centuries that followed, feasts and celebrations were established among the Hebrews, times of remembrance where they would be grateful and remember how that by the power of God He had made them a peculiar people and nation.

However, in time Israel did come to forget. Not only did they forget the God who had delivered them, but they forgot and mocked the covenants and responsibilities they had assumed as His chosen people. Eventually they were scattered, destroyed, and oppressed once more.

Now my dear friends, it has been said that history repeats itself. Our season of feasting and celebration is upon us this week; it’s Thanksgiving. What a blessed people we are! By the power of God we are a prosperous and a free people. Praise be to God for the kindness of His Fatherhood, for the prayers He has answered, and for the privileges He has given us. May we rejoice now in our time. We are the greatest, wealthiest people ever in the history of this earth. Ought we not to thank the God who gave it? Oh, I hope our riches never come to canker our soul.

Further, thank God for the gift of His son; we have a free conscience. Thank God for the miracle of forgiveness and the power of redemption and resurrection. We are free. No tyrant can oppress our soul or destroy our peace unless we let him. Praise be to God for the assurance and presence of a Savior Who is always there, Who will not rest in His atoning endeavors until all of us have become celestial beings.

Thank God for truth, pure unadulterated ‘diamond truth’ that allows us to see and understand, and be anchored in place in a world that has become like a roaring blender of opinions and ideas. We are so blessed!

And thank God for America and her liberty. By the power of God and His guardian angels we are a free nation. There is so much more that is worth rejoicing of in America than is worth complaining of. Look around. I see this world we live in and I wonder: My children have never known starvation, many do; my children have never understood slavery and oppression, it’s [they are] foreign to them. They have never known the fear of tyrants, nor the despair of hopelessness and bondage. And yet there are people all over the earth who suffer so much. Why – why are we such a blessed people when so many suffer so much? I cannot help but think that America has the same responsibility as ancient Israel, to lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees. Oh, Heavenly Father, thank Thee for all of Thy bounty.

My dear friends, this Thanksgiving it is my prayer that our gratitude will overflow unto tears of humility and songs of rejoicing for the goodness of God. Oh to grace, how great a debtor; daily I’m constrained to be. Let thy goodness as a fetter bind my wandering heart to thee; prone to wander Lord I feel it; prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, oh take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.

Glenn Rawson