Who Can Give Thanks?

Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

Who can utter the mighty deeds of the LORD, or declare all his praise?

Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!

Psalms 106:1-3, ESV


Today is Thanksgiving in America. I love this holiday, for it began as a day to offer thanksgiving and prayer to God, as decreed by no less a man than George Washington by proclamation in 1789. It had its roots in a thanksgiving feast in 1620 between the Pilgrims and their Indian friends who had helped the first settlers acclimate to this new and strange land. This thanksgiving has been going on for a long time in our nation, but its roots go back much farther than what we might think. 


The practice of offering thanksgiving has been practiced by God's people from the earliest of times.We find six times in the Old Testament the exact phrase, "Give thanks to the LORD for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever". But thanksgiving to God should not be taken lightly. We have many examples throughout Scripture of warnings to people not to approach God in an improper manner. Time and time again, God's people would attempt to approach Him to seek His favor, only to find out that they were not permitted to do so because of sin.


Why bring this up now? I believe it is obvious that America is no longer the same nation it was when the people sought out God's favor and earnestly desired to give Him thanks on a regular basis. I further believe that this is primarily because so many of the people, often led by wicked and insincere leaders, have abandoned God's principles yet still have the audacity to seek His blessings and offer Him their praise. But notice in the passage above who could rightfully declare all His praise: It was those who were righteous at all times.


I believe if you are taking the time to read a religious article, then it is likely that you fall in that category. But, if we cannot accurately be described as a righteous people, there is something we can do. We can repent and come back to God on His terms. Then, and only then, is it possible to take the right of going into His holy presence and offer thanksgiving and praise to His holy name.


And we should do this because we are thankful, for we serve a wonderful and loving God!