Journal – November 22, 2020
1 Samuel 24:14 (NKJV)
14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea?
FOR THANKSGIVING DAY 2020
A Psalm of Thanksgiving.
Make a joyful shout to the LORD all you lands! 2Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing. 3Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. 5For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.
This is the only Psalm given the title ‘A Psalm of Thanksgiving.’ It shines forth with grateful adoration and has been a great favorite with the people of God since it was written. Let us sing the Old Hundredth is one of the everyday expressions of the old Christian church and will be while men exist whose hearts are loyal to the Great King. Nothing can be more sublime this side of heaven than the singing of this noble Psalm by a large congregation. In this Divine lyric we sing with gladness at the creating power and goodness of the LORD.
Vs.1 Make a joyful shout to the LORD all you lands! This is a glad shout such as loyal subjects give their king/president when he appears among them. Our glorious God should be worshipped by a joyful people, with a cheerful spirit in keeping with His nature, His acts, and the gratitude which we should cherish for His mercies. In every land Jehovah’s goodness is seen, therefore in every land He should be praised. The world will never be in proper condition unless or until with one unanimous shout it adores the only true God.
Vs. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. He is our LORD, and therefore He is to be served; He is our gracious Lord, and therefore to be served with joy. The invitation to worship is a cheerful happy exhortation, as though we were bidden to a marriage feast. Come before his presence with singing. We ought to realize the presence of God, and by our every effort of the mind approach him. This is an act which must be to be one of great majesty but at the same time it is not be performed with the groveling fear; therefore, we come before him with Psalms and hymns singing joyfully and devout. This should be our constant approach to God. The measured, harmonious, hearty utterance of praise by a congregation of devout persons is delightful, and a fit anticipation of our worship in heaven, where praise replaces prayer, and becomes the sole mode of worship.
Vs. 3 Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. We must know whom we worship and why. To know our God is wisdom; and it is doubtful that a man can know himself until he truly knows his God. Jehovah is God in the fullest, most absolute, and most exclusive sense, he is God alone; to know him in that character and prove our knowledge by obedience, trust, submission, zeal, and love is an attainment which only His grace can bestow. Only those who know of His Godhead are going to offer praise. It is he who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. We have been chosen from all the world to be His own people, and it is our privilege to be guided by His providence, indwelt by the Holy Spirit and fed by His bounty. Sheep like to gather around their shepherd and look up to him; in the same manner let us gather around our great Shepherd. The confession of our relation to God is in itself praise; when we recount His goodness, we are rendering to him our best adoration; while our hymns speak the tender mercies of the LORD.
Vs. 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. As long as we live in these bodies, we should be givers of thanks. His mercy enables us to enter his gates; let us praise that mercy. What better subject for our thoughts in God’s own house than the LORD of the house. And into his courts with praise, whatever court of the Lord you may enter, let your admission be the subject of praise: thanks be to God. the innermost court is now open to all believers, and we enter into that which is within the veil. It is our high privilege to praise Him by our songs, to be thankful to Him and bless His name. Let praise be in your heart as well as on your tongue and may it all be for Him to whom it belongs. And bless His name, He blessed you sinner, now bless Him in return; bless his name, bless His character, His person, His patience, bless whatever He does, be sure that you bless Him for it; bless Him when He takes away as well as when He gives; bless Him as long as you live, under all circumstances; bless Him in all his attributes, from whatever point of view you consider Him. Bless the LORD O my soul!
Vs. 5 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. This sums up His character and contains several reasons to praise the LORD. He is good, gracious, kind, bountiful, loving; yes, God is love. He who knows not to praise the good is not good himself. The kind of praise in this Psalm is that of joy and gladness and is most proper for us to offer it because of the goodness of God. His mercy is everlasting. God has bowels of compassion, and wills not the sinner’s death. Towards His own people mercy is still more conspicuously displayed; it has been theirs from all eternity and shall be theirs forever. His mercy is everlasting and is a glorious theme for this great hymn. And his truth endures to all generations. No fickle being is He, promising and forgetting. He has entered into covenant with his people, and He will never revoke it, nor alter the thing that has gone out of His mouth. As our fathers found Him faithful, so will our sons, and so will their seed forever., Our heart leaps for joy as we bow before One who has never broken His word or changed His purpose.
As we come near the end of the year 2020, its time for Thanksgiving Day! I think we can all agree that this has been an unusual year, it started out with a thriving economy that soon disappeared with COVID 19 shutting down America and ending the economic advances that had been made. But our God is on the throne and all is well, let us indeed be thankful for His blessing.
We have the privilege of living in a country founded for the glory of God, we are not perfect and never will be this side of heaven. But looking back over our history we can see God’s hand directing all things that came to pass. In the year 1620 the Separatist (Northern England Farmers), could no longer endure the harsh hand of government control over the church. They had fled to Holland and stayed 11 to 12 years; not being satisfied they returned to England and chartered the Mayflower from the Virginia Land Company to sail to the New World so they could worship God without interference. In September 102 Separatists set sail, the sea was rough, the weather cold and ship had not been provisioned properly. After landing at Cape Cod in November the Pilgrims endured a very cold winter and when spring came about half their number were dead. The Indians taught them how to fish, hunt, and farm in the new land. After a good harvest of corn and vegetables the men hunted for fowls and the Indians joined them for a thanksgiving feast on 26 November 1621. Thanksgiving was given to Almighty God for seeing them safely through the ocean crossing, being able to plant and have a good harvest; and that they could worship God without hinderance from an overbearing government. The Puritans had arrived at Massachusetts Bay and established the Bay Colony. The New England colonists were accustomed to celebrating Thanksgiving with days of prayer, thanking God for caring for them through droughts, Indian uprisings, and their new home. The U.S. Continental Congress proclaimed a national Thanksgiving upon the enactment of the Constitution. In the year 1798 the new U.S. Congress left the declarations of Thanksgiving to the states as there were objections against the national government being involved in a religious observance. During the civil war president Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday, 26 November 1863. Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed by every president in subsequent years with the date being the last Thursday of November. During the great depression President Roosevelt attempted to change the date to give a longer Christmas shopping season but failed. As the country continued to grow, families were spread out and Thanksgiving became a day to gather the family together and feast on God’s bounty. Now, to our shame, the Christian roots have almost been forgotten with parades and football games after eating a big meal of turkey and dressing.
But what we have seen and experienced this year brings realization to some that there is a God in the heavens. This is His creation that we live on and we have a responsibility to remember Him and give thanks for all His blessings. So, when you sit down Thursday with the family gathered around the table may the man of the family bow his head and from his heart give thanks for all the blessings that God has bestowed upon us and may those seated say Amen! O just read and reread the Old Hundredth Psalm and find the way to glorify God for all His blessings.
The Priestly Blessing:
The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace Amen, Numbers 6:24-26.
Catechism Question 46
Q: Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?
A: The moral law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments.
14 And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.