Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalms 136:1
An important part of each feast is gratitude. As the Jews gather to celebrate three times each year, they are to remember who ultimately provided the harvest. The barley and lambs at Passover, the wheat at Pentecost and the fruit at Tabernacles are all given to them by God (James 1:17). Each of the feasts is a set time to turn their hearts upward in gratitude toward the God who sustains them. The gratitude is immediate. It seems like God says, “The barley harvest is finished—give thanks now. The wheat is in—do it now. The vine harvest is complete— do it again.” It is a cycle that is old, familiar and repetitive.
Historians believe the Israelites sang Psalm 136 every year at Passover to celebrate the Exodus. Repeating the same refrain in every verse, they praise God for his great acts and faithfulness. The Hebrew word in the refrain, hesed, is frequently used in Scripture. It means God’s faithful and steadfast love, lovingkindness and mercy. As the people respond with the repeated refrain, they give no doubt as to the object of their thanksgiving. They are not just giving thanks FOR their things but giving thanks TO God.
Like the Jews, we need to have set times to do this. Thanksgiving Day this week gives us a formal opportunity to do this annually. But recognizing where “our stuff comes from” needs to happen beyond this American holiday. It needs to be a habit we do at meals as we thank God for our food. On payday, we thank God for our job and the skill to do it. And when we shop, we thank God for the abundance of goods from which we can select.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Pick a specific time when you can offer gratitude to God. Determine to do it regularly for the next month as you begin to increase your gratitude for your stuff.
2022 BIBLE MEMORY PRACTICE
Develop spiritual roots and tap in the power of God’s word by memorizing monthly a Bible verse! View previous verses at beyondtheweekend.org/biblememorypractice.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.