Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is Good
“Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 106:1 (ESV)
On this Thanksgiving morning as I was flipping through Psalm, admittedly looking for a “feel-good” Psalm to read about thankfulness, I came across Psalm 106. I began reading and immediately thought, “Well this isn’t a feel good chapter to read on Thanksgiving.” I kept reading anyways and the Lord showed me why this is what I’m supposed to be most thankful for.
I encourage you to read all of Psalm 106 and pray that the Lord would reveal Himself to you through this chapter, but this is what the Lord pressed on my heart through the reading of His Word.
Verse 6 reads, “Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.”
Verse 7 “Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.”
Verse 13 “But they soon forgot his works; they did not wait for his counsel.”
Verses 19-21 “They made a calf in Horeb and worshiped a metal image. They exchanged the glory of God for the image of an ox that eats grass. They forgot God, their Savior…”
Verses 24-25 “Then they despised the pleasant land, having no faith in his promise. They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the Lord.”
Verses 34-35 “They did not destroy the peoples, as the Lord commanded them, but they mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did.”
Verse 43 “Many times he delivered them, but they were rebellious in their purposes and were brought low through their iniquity.”
As I was reading this, the Lord showed me that this was me. I am Israel. I am the one rebelling. I am the one to quick to forget just how God has saved me. This is me. This is you. This is us.
Just as the Israelites rebelled by the Red Sea, forgetting all that God has done for them, how quick am I to forget all that God has done for me? How easy is it for me to question God when something “bad” happens to me or I have a bad day? Don’t I remember all the blessings that He has so graciously poured out to me? Why do I so easily forget?
Just as they made a calf and worshipped the creation rather than The Creator, how many times have I filled my eyes, ears, and heart with the things of this world rather than the One who created the universe and the One who saved my soul. How often do I make idols out of my school work, my social life, my status, my relationships? Don’t I realize that I only have these things because of the grace of God? Don’t I remember how many times I’ve tried to fill that God shaped hole in my heart with creation rather than the Creator? Don’t I remember how many times I’ve felt so empty and broken because the things of the flesh don’t ever truly satisfy?
Just as they despised their pleasant land, how many times do I grumble about the things that I don’t have? And here I am in the United States of America, in the Bible belt with a roof over my head, food in my pantry, MY PARENTS are paying thousands of dollars every year for me to get an education, clean water, a bed, a car, and enough money for any “necessity” that my mind can think up. With all these blessings the Lord has given me through His grace, I still grumble at the Lord and disobey him on a regular basis.
Just as they mixed with the nation they were supposed to destroy, how many times do I flirt around with sin? How often am I pushing the lines of sexual immorality instead of fleeing, playing with the things of the flesh instead of renewing my mind daily and focusing on the things of the Spirit, or playing with the fire that is sin and not thinking I’ll get burnt?
Psalm 106:8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power.
Psalm 106:44-45 Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he heard their cry. For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
On this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the grace of God. I’m thankful to serve such a merciful, gracious, loving, slow to anger, God that even through my rebellion and my sin, he snatched me out of the depths of hell. I’m thankful for a God that saved me so that He can receive glory and His name and His mighty power will be made known.
I’m thankful for a God that, through my sin and through my rebellion, is the Author of Salvation and provided a way for me to come to Him through the blood of Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for Jesus and the sacrifice and the humility that he showed by humbling himself to the point of death, even death on a cross.
All of this… For me. For a lowly, rebellious, prideful, selfish, wretched, sinful person like me. And because of the blood of Jesus I get to be in the presence of an Almighty God and He calls me a beloved son.
How beautiful, how scandalous, how confusing, how magnificent is the Gospel.
Today I’m thankful for the Gospel.
“Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”