This week will be the biggest feast of the year for many of us. We will see family, friends, football, and a lot of food! We gather around to thank God for his bounty and blessing and well we should. Many have taken to social media all month to share one thing a day for which they are thankful. Being thankful is a moral and ethic that God established among his people. He guided them to thanksgiving 4 times a year. As you read Leviticus 23 take time to thank God for these 4 things.
The Israelites were in a tough spot and were not sure God was there, was aware, or if He even cared. I am sure, given the human condition, there were some who wondered if God even had the power to help them. In the midst of 1000’s of gods being worshipped in Egypt, it is conceivable that some began to doubt. God afforded them sanctuary from the 10th plague if they would just believe and act on that belief. By following the directions, they would be exempt from the devastation of the 10th plague – losing the firstborn of everything.
God showed His power to sustain. What, in your life, are you struggling to overcome? Are you losing the battle of love, addiction, health, or job? Is what you are facing seem to overwhelming that you are beginning to lose hope? God has the power to sustain you through the darkest and brightest times of your life. We don’t always see the need in the brightest days, but in the dark days we get it. Let God’s power sustain you through this moment.
Thank God for His power to sustain.
Each year the farming community receives in a harvest. I remember serving in Buffalo, OK where each August, after the wheat harvest, our monies would soar. Many in the community waited all year for the one check and survived on it alone. So it was with Israel. While they did have livestock for food, shelter, and clothing, the harvest provided the basic needs of life. God instructed them to give 10% back and have a party while doing it!
Because of God’s provision, they were supplied with the needs of life. The holiday season always reminds us of those who don’t have anything. As I helped to unload the 68 boxes for Operation Christmas Child from our church, I realized that 68 kids will have something that brings them joy. As I saw people taking the tags from the tree for our winter clothes drive, I realized that those 34 kids will have coats, gloves, hats, and more.
Thank God for His provision that supplies your need.
This festival was of specific concern for the nation. Once a year, they gathered together and received atonement, nationally, for sin. At that time, God has established that a sacrifice had to be made for sin and guilt to be removed. Every day, on a personal basis, people would come and present their sacrifice with the priest and be made right again with God. However, nationally they would do the same.
Our country struggles today. We are conflicted morally and ethically. We do not have agreement on right and wrong. Whatever seems right to each one appears to be the rule for the day. Leadership is making executive decisions without regard, it seems, to the best interests of the country. When moral rot sets in to a country, the leadership will soon crumble. But there is hope. As each of us take on our responsibility before God and develop others to do the same, then a grass-roots effort could spark a change in our country, but it begins with each one of us. God offers peace through a sacrifice. When someone places faith in Jesus and follows Him, we have peace with God.
Thank God for His peace through a Sacrifice.
This festival helped the Israelites to remember that while it wasn’t always pretty, He provided the shelters while they were in transition before the Promised Land conquest. Annually, Israel was to live in a makeshift shelter, or booth, for 7 days. This served to remind them of how God protected them during that time.
We drove to the edge of town. I looked up and saw what looked like a little city of cardboard. Surely no one lived here right? Surely, this was just some huge child’s building project. There were 1000’s of people/families living in this section. House constructed completely from cardboard and other scrap materials. The nice ones had corrugated plastic or metal intermixed! I stopped right there and was thankful for God shelter provided to me.
Thank God for His protection in your shelter.
Like worship, thanksgiving is a lifestyle more than party! Let us be mindful of God’s love and grace each day.