The Bible is a Book of Thanksgiving. The word group “thank[s]” and “thanksgiving” occurs about 200 times throughout the Scriptures. The first occurrences are in the Law of Moses [Leviticus 7:12-15] and the final mention of thanksgiving occurs in the Bible’s last book. [Revelation 7:12] As we might expect the word “thanksgiving” occurs most often in the Psalms.
Giving thanks to God is urged upon His worshippers: “To cause thanksgiving to be heard aloud, And to declare all your wonderful works.” [Psalm 26:7 NWT] Also, such thanksgiving is associated with keeping vows made to God and to follow a “set way” in true worship. The Psalmist sings: “Offer thanksgiving as your sacrifice to God, And pay to the Most High your vows. … The one offering thanksgiving as his sacrifice is the one that glorifies me; And as for the one keeping a set way, I will cause him to see salvation by God." [Psalm 50:14, 23 NWT]
In the Christian Bible “thanksgiving” is also encouraged within the Nazarene community. Paul writes in Philippians 4:6, 7, “None of you be anxious over anything, but in everything let your petitions be made known to the God through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Then the peace of the God that ascends above all thought will safeguard all of your hearts and mental thinking incorporate in Christ Jesus.” [NCMM] We rejoice what Paul associates with such thanksgiving - a lack of anxiety and “the peace of the God.”
Paul writes that the sharing of food and drink on any occasion should be accompanied with thanksgiving: “God created these foods to be eaten with thankful hearts by his followers who know the truth. Everything God created is good. And if you give thanks, you may eat anything. What God has said and your prayer will make it fit to eat.” [Contemporary English Version (1995) -- American Bible Society]
In this regard, it is always good to remember our Lord’s own warning as the end-times approach: “Continue paying strict attention to yourselves lest your hearts become burdened in overeating and drunkenness and life’s anxieties, for that Day will arrive upon you suddenly like a trap. For that Day will come upon all those dwelling upon the face of all the earth. Continue to remain awake, supplicating in every season of time so that you might be strong enough to escape all these things destined to occur and [finally] to stand in the very presence of the Son of Humankind.” [Luke 21:34-36 NCMM]
Surely during all seasons of the year we are continually expressing thanksgiving for our Father’s “indescribable free gift” in the form of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ and in every prayer we thank Him for the forgiveness of our sins.
Nazarene Commentary 2000© by Mark Heber Miller
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