JD: David in thinking about what the Bible has to say about giving thanks and being thankful let’s start with the Old Testament since that lays a foundation for what we learn in the New Testament.
DJ: The first occurrence of Thanksgiving in the Old Testament is in Leviticus 7 where we read in verses 11 & 12. This is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which he shall offer to the Lord if he offers it for a thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is connected with a peace or fellowship offering which symbolizes a persons desire for fellowship with the Lord. That word Thanksgiving occurs 25 times in the New King James version and 21 of those times it translates the Hebrew word Todah. Todah is found many times in the Psalms. But the bottom line Jimmy is that the giving of thanks and the idea of praising the Lord are really inseparable. They’re both directly connected with worship. And so it would be impossible to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth apart from being thankful. You just can’t worship if you don’t have a thankful spirit.
JD: Ok now David that was the Old Testament foundation. Let’s go to the New Testament.
DJ: Well as you would expect there is some carry over from the Old Testament that’s for sure. It does lay the foundation. But there does seem to be a little bit of a shift or at least a development. The word thanks in our English Bibles translate the word cottage. Now our listeners may recognize cottage because that word is often translated as grace so we use it even in English.
And for those who may be familiar with the Roman Catholic mass not that we’re supporting that in anyway but just to give an idea. The eucharist is what we call communion but its call eucharist in Roman Catholicism. Although we understand communion very differently from Catholics it’s from the Greek word for thanks or thanksgiving. Maybe we can think of the Hebrew idea as focusing on the action of associated with being thankful like offerings as well as praise and worship. The Greek idea seems to focus more on what we might call an attitude of gratitude. In other words being grateful for what someone has done for us especially thankfulness to God and of course that should lead to actions that flow from being thankful. So it should produce actions in how we go about our daily life and how we treat others.
JD: David James with Bible in hand giving us the details from the Old Testament and the New Testament on God’s exhortation to be thankful.
We report this information because it is setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.
God’s word is definite on the fact that we need to have an attitude of gratitude. I want you to notice however that unthankfulness is a sign of the end times. A time when the prophetic scenario of God’s word will be played out, that’s found in II Timothy 3:1&2.