This may seem like a strange time to give thanks as one turmoil after another is rocking our countries and societies. It must have seemed that way also for the Israelites as they left the bondage of Egypt. Even though there was bondage, it was all many of them had known and there is a way one can become used to the trials of life until you forget the freedom that was once yours. There was a way they could be comfortable with the “fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic” of Egypt. But God was calling them to a higher level. He was calling them to remember the Creation and what they had been created for – freedom! He was calling them home.
The message of this song is God is inviting each of us to come home like the prodigal son, there is a place for us at God’s Table.
We are once again approaching the time to remember what God created us for – Thanksgiving. Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.” How fortunate to be adopted by a Father who cares about every detail of our lives – a perfect father who never abandons us or fails us. His restrictions in our lives are always for our protection and good. Oh, how He is to be honored and His name hallowed. As you consider all the world’s kingdoms, there are none perfect, only some less bad than others but, His kingdom is perfect in every aspect. Any wise people would want to model their governments on His as much as humanly possible. He knows our past, present, and future and He knows how to overcome the chief enemy of our souls, Satan, and He loves us! Who in their right mind wouldn’t want One with such ability to show us His will for us daily?
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving remember that we should be thankful every day for God’s abundant goodness and favor bestowed on us daily.
It would be good to remember what the Holy Scripture have to say about Thanksgiving and what blessings we have been given in America.
“If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried.” – Leviticus 7:12
The month of Thanksgiving is approaching. Thanksgiving is a time for reflection on the testing and blessings of our lives. Yes, even trials and testing are to be given thanks for because they serve to make us stronger than we were before. And blessings because they are a sign of God’s goodness to us. Sadly, most of us receive these blessings without so much as a thank you. And we often take them for granted, that is until they are taken away.
But thanksgiving is so important for our well-being that God even gave a special offering for it called the “sacrifice of Thanksgiving”. It was to be given with unleavened cakes mingled with oil. The cakes represent bread which is the staff of life and later Jesus who is the ‘bread of life’. In other words, all the things that work on our behalf to bring forth life. These cakes were to be ‘unleavened’ which means not tainted by sin that corrupts and destroys the life intended. This sacrifice is later referred to in the New Testament in the Lord’s Supper where Paul writes –
“For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner (in sin) eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” – 1 Cor. 11:29
Then the cakes were also to be mingled with oil, which represented the Holy Spirit. It was the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent to be with us when He rose into the heavens. The Holy Spirit is to be our teacher and He alone can lead us to repentance. He is the One who will prepare us to be ready to meet the Lord when He returns. He makes the difference between the five foolish bridesmaids and the five wise bridesmaids (Matt. 25:1-12).
A key truth in this thought is – being thankful prepares you for the Holy Spirit to work in your life. Un thankfulness hinders His work. Also, in this sacrifice wafers of fine flour mingled with oil are used. On this point, I will let you seek out God’s hidden message in this sacrifice –
- How does flour become ‘fine’ flower?
- Why wafers and not loaves?
The answer can be found in this Psalm – “For His anger (testing) is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5
Thanksgiving is a time for family and friendships. I pray that this Thanksgiving you will give thanks for God’s goodness to you. Remember, you don’t have to have a big turkey meal to give thanks – Paul and Silas were bound in prison, and they gave thanks and God opened the prison for them!
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were loosed.” – Acts 16:25,26
And last but certainly not least, Thanksgiving is a time for family. God speaks about marriage and the family in this way –
“But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore, take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. “For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore, take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” – Mal. 2:15-16
One of the last things God will do before the final Day of the Lord is to send the prophet Elijah and his message will be to re-unite the family.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” – Mal. 4:5-6
In the beginning God created the family and He still cares about it. So, celebrate this Thanksgiving by gathering with family and friends to give thanks to God from whom all blessing come and enjoy one another’s fellowship.