Sermon #1486 Miscellaneous Sermons
Text: Psalm 26:6-7
Subject: In Preparation for Thanksgiving Day
Tape # W-70a
(Psa 26:6-7) I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD: 7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.
· Let us come to our God with clean hands, washed in the blood of Christ and with sincere, ope hearts.
· Let us lift our hearts to him with the voice of thanksgiving.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-24) Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
· I want to lead you to worship our God with thanksgiving and praise by telling you of his wondrous works.
As is my custom in anticipation of Thanksgiving Day I want to preach to you tonight about Thanksgiving. However, I am going to do something tonight that is a bit unusual for me. I want to begin by giving you a brief history lesson.
A Brief History
It seems that every year we are treated to articles attempting to disprove the "myth of Thanksgiving." In these articles we are told that:
Some of these accusations are not a
serious concern. After all, who cares if the Pilgrims served cranberries or
not? But what seems to lie behind some of these articles is a desire to devalue
the religious nature of our present Thanksgiving holiday. This is unfortunate
since Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays on the
The First Thanksgiving?
It is true that the Pilgrims were not the first to observe
Thanksgiving Day. It is also true that the day did not involve feasting. Yet,
the first thanksgiving observance in
"Wee ordaine that the day of our
ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the
In addition to 1619, the colonists perhaps held service in 1620 and 1621. The colony was wiped out in 1622.
The Pilgrim's Thanksgiving
Modern perverters of American history tell us that the
Pilgrims first came to this land "to seek their fortune in the
The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock on
But the harvest of 1621 was a bountiful
one. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast. In an
attempt to put God out of our society and out of our thinking, educators, the
news and entertainment media, and vote-seeking politicians tell us that the
first Thanksgiving Day was a day, not of thanksgiving to God but of
celebration. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was, indeed, a day of
great celebration precisely because it was a day of thanksgiving to God.
Edward Winslow wrote, on
That sounds like a Thanksgiving feast to
me! Granted, they did feast together, inviting friendly Indians to join them
for a true feast Lobster,
Other Thanksgiving Feasts
The Pilgrim's first thanksgiving feast was not repeated the following year. In the third year, when many of them had become preoccupied with cultivating more land, and building on to their houses, and planting extra corn for trading with the Indians, they were stricken by a prolonged drought. Week followed week with no rain, until even the Indians had no recollection of such a thing ever happening before. The sun-blasted corn withered on its stalks and became tinder dry, and beneath it the ground cracked open and was so powdery that any normal rain would be of little use. And still the heavens were as brass.
Finally, in July, Governor
Bradford called a council of the men in the colony. It was obvious that
God was withholding the rain for a reason.
A tender, peaceful spirit grew among
them and was enhanced as each hour passed. Late in the afternoon, as they
emerged from their place of worship, the sky which that morning had been hard
and clear (as it had been every morning for nearly two months), was now covered
with clouds all around them. The following morning, it began to rain -- a
gentle rain that continued on and off for fourteen days straight. Writing of
"It came, without either wind, or thunder, or any violence, and by degreese in yt abundance, as that ye earth was thorowly wete and soked therwith. Which did so apparently revive & quicken ye decayed corne & other fruits, as was wonderfull to see, and made ye Indeans astonished to behold; and afterwards the Lord sent them shuch seasonable showers, with enterchange of faire warme weather, as, through his blessing, caused a fruitfull & liberall harvest, to their no small comforte and rejoycing."
Their harvest that fall, was so abundant that they ended up with a surplus -- to the benefit of Indians to the north who had not had a good growing season. To everyone's delight, the Governor "sett aparte a day of thanksgiveing" again inviting their Indian neighbors to join them.
Another Day of Thanksgiving
In June of 1676 another Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed.
The governing council of
The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God's Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being persuaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and souls as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ."
Was thanksgiving observed during the colonial times? Yes.
October of 1777 marked the first time that all 13 colonies joined in a
thanksgiving celebration. It lasted eight days. It also commemorated the
patriotic victory over the British at
George Washington (Baptist,
baptized by John Gano, who is buried in
How did Thanksgiving become a yearly national practice? It was Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, whose efforts eventually led to what we recognize as Thanksgiving. Hale wrote many editorials championing her cause in her Boston Ladies' Magazine, and later, in Godey's Lady's Book. She was fired with the determination of having the whole nation join together in setting apart a national day for giving thanks "unto Him from who all blessings flow."
Finally, after a 40-year campaign of
writing editorials and letters to governors and presidents, Hale's passion
became a reality. In 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in
November as a national day "of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent
Father." Here is the text of
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, the many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
Since then, the date was changed only once, by Franklin Roosevelt, who moved it up one week to the third Thursday of November in order to create a longer Christmas shopping season. Public uproar against this decision caused the Congress to move Thanksgiving back to its original date two years later.
However, Thanksgiving did not originate with the President Lincoln's declaration of this holiday, or even with the Pilgrims feasting with the native Americans. Gods people have always been taught of him to give thanks, to give thanks to him for his holiness, for all his wondrous works, particularly for his goodness and mercy, and to give thanks by calling upon his name (worshipping him), seeking him, glorying in him, and rejoicing in him.
As we gather with our families Thursday to observe this one truly spiritual national holiday, let us give thanks to our God, celebrating both his character and his wondrous deeds of providence and grace, especially his wondrous deeds of redemption in Christ. Let us begin now to do so. I pray that he will give us grace to truly give thanks to him in all things and at all times.
(Psalms 30:4) Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
(Psalms 105:1-3) O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. 2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. 3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
(Psalms 106:1) Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(Psalms 107:1) O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(Psalms 118:1) O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
Turn with me now to 1 Chronicles 16.
(1 Chronicles 16:8-10) Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. 9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. 10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
(1 Chronicles ) O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
I. Give thanks unto the LORD.
Thanksgiving is always in season. Every child of Adam living upon this earth ought to lift his heart to God in heaven, giving thanks to him for his great mercy.
(Psalms 50:14) Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
(Psalms 92:1) It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:
(Psalms 100:4) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
(Psalms 107:22) And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
(Colossians 3:15) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
(Colossians 3:17) And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
II. Call upon his name.
The word call simply means worship. There is no thanksgiving to God until God is worshipped as God.
III. Make known his deeds among the people.
IV.Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him.
There is no better way to move our hearts to thanksgiving than by lifting our voices is songs of thanksgiving.
Chronicles 7:6) And the priests waited
on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of music of the LORD, which
David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for
ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before
them, and all
V. Talk ye of all his wondrous works.
The fact is, all things are of God. When we speak of any event, any act, any blessing, any judgment, any promise, any joy, or any sorrow we are speaking of Gods works. We ought ever to be conscious of that fact, and acknowledge it with humble praise.
(Romans 8:28) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
VI.Glory ye in his holy name.
(Jeremiah 9:23-24) Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
(1 Corinthians 1:30-31) But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
VII. Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
(Philippians 4:4-7) Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Now look at verse 34.
VIII. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good.
Our God is good. He is good in all his works.
(Psalms 34:8) O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
73:1) Truly God is good to
(Psalms 100:5) For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
(Psalms 106:1) Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(Psalms 109:21) But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.
(Psalms 135:3) Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.
(Psalms 145:9) The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
(Lamentations 3:26) It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
(Nahum 1:7) The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.
IX.O give thanks unto the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
· Eternal, Covenant Mercy
· Daily Mercy
· Everlasting Mercy
X. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!
(2 Corinthians 9:15) Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
· The Lord Jesus Christ is the gift of God!
· Christ is the unspeakable gift of God!
· He is the gift of God that should be spoken of constantly!
(Psalms 26:6-7) I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD: 7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.