The first personal declaration of thanksgiving in the Old Testament is one for divine deliverance. It is David’s open acknowledgement of the Lord’s power, provision and protection in the midst of his enemies. In fact, standing just after the Lord’s awesome acts, David shouts and sings of the Almighty’s salvation “among the Gentiles.” He declares that he will “give thanks to the Lord…and make known among the nations what He has done.”
What is so special about this royal decree? Certainly a man as devoted to God as David would want to make his Master’s mighty acts known. His God-tuned heart would no doubt drive him to shout and sing of the Lord’s salvation. The force of this declaration, however, is not so much found in the fact that David desires to give thanks. No. Its importance is found among whom this testimony will be given – the Gentiles. David declares his desire to give thanks to God in the midst of those who don’t yet know Him. It is the witness of thanksgiving.
You see, thanksgiving in the life of a Believer is such a tremendous testimony because we live in a world that is marked, and according to the apostle Paul even marred, by an insidious ingratitude. Our world isn’t thankful for the soil that gives place for its produce to take root or the rain that falls to water it. This world isn’t grateful for the sun that shines by day or the moon that glows at night. There is no thanksgiving even for the heavenly harvest that graces its tables each and every day. Our world is absolutely unresponsive to the Lord’s goodness and one where even abundance is never enough.
This is why those of us who know the goodness and grace of God should, like David, openly declare and publicly demonstrate, our thanks to God among those who have not yet come to know Him. We should shout and sing with the “voice of thanksgiving and tell of His wondrous works” in this world. Our witness of thanksgiving should point an ungrateful world to the blessings that God bestows on those who deny, denounce and even reject him. His rain falls on their fields. His sun shines on their homes. His wind cools their fevers. His presence here holds back more tragedies and heartache than they could ever imagine. Our God even says that His goodness to ungodly men is done for the express purpose of drawing them to repentance. That’s why it is so important for those who are His children to give thanks to Him – as a witness in an ungrateful world.
Thanksgiving shouldn’t just be a holiday in the life of a Christian – it should be every day. It must mark our lives as much as ingratitude marks this world. Our gratitude for God’s goodness shouldn’t be relegated to time around our table with family and friends, but also displayed in our lives daily as we walk our streets and hallways. Like David “we should praise the name of God with song and magnify him with thanksgiving.” There should always be a song of thanksgiving to God on our lips for the world to hear.
It is said that “a thinking Christian will be a thankful Christian.” So, take time to think of the Lord’s goodness and be thankful for all He has done for you. Then share the story of His power, provision and protection in your life with those who don’t yet know Him. Let your thanksgiving testimony be a wonderful witness to the world around you so that they might “taste and see that the Lord is good” and “trust in Him!”