Being thankful

Psalm 107: 8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankindPsalm 107 teaches of the need to thank God when we are delivered (saved) from trouble. It praises God for His kindness to his exiled people, beginning with, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever” (v.1). God is said to be good because His love is eternal.

Then those who have been delivered from their enemies and those who have been regathered from being dispersed are told, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story” (v.2). Other translations say, “Let the redeemed of the Lord proclaim” (CSB), and “Let those delivered by the Lord speak out” (NET). They are urged to come together and give thanks to the Lord by saying what He has done.

Then there are four examples of the merciful deliverance of the Lord from a crisis. In each case there is a description of the problem, a prayer for deliverance, and a call for praise for  the deliverance.

First, those who were lost in the desert (v.4-9). Did they take time to thank Him when they were delivered? When they are delivered they are told, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind” (v.8).

Second, those who were enslaved as prisoners (v.10-16). Did they take time to thank Him when they were set free? When they are delivered they are told, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind” (v.15).

Third, those who were seriously ill (v.17-22). Did they take time to thank Him when they were healed? When they are delivered they are told, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind” (v.21).

Fourth, sailors in a terrible storm (v.23-32). But did they take time to thank Him when the storm was calmed? When they are delivered they are told, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind” (v.31). This is the chorus (refrain) of the song (v.8, 15, 21, 31).

We must keep trusting God, and be thankful for His mercies. Most of all He deserves full honour and praise for the greatest of all mercies for sending His Son Jesus to go to the cross and be executed for our sin.

As the Israelites who were redeemed (delivered, rescued, or saved) by the Lord were told to tell their story and not be silent (v.2), we are commanded “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess His name” (Heb. 13:15).

In Luke 17 as the Lord was travelling along the border between Samaria and Galilee on His way to Jerusalem, He healed ten lepers, nine of which were ungrateful (Lk. 17:11-19). You would have expected all ten men to run back and thank Jesus. How often do we take our blessings for granted?

Too often we are content to enjoy the gift, but we forget the giver. Instead of going to the priest with the other nine, the Samaritan “Came back, praising God in a loud voice” and “he fell with his face to the ground at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him” (Lk. 17:15-16 NET). He became a priest himself, because thanksgiving is an act of worship. None of the other nine, who were presumably Israelites, responded with gratitude.

Likewise, we have been healed from the sickness of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and our response is to come and bow before Him, giving thanks.

Jesus gave His followers the Lord’s Supper as a way to be thankful. The bread and the wine symbolise His death. It’s called a “cup of thanksgiving” (1 Cor. 10:16).

Let’s give thanks to the LORD, for His unfailing love in suffering and dying for our sins. That’s the story of deliverance that we can proclaim and tell.

Alan Homan

About George Hawke

I live in Sydney, Australia
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