Family Bible Study lesson for Nov. 21: Be Thankful! : Friday, Nov 5, 2004
November 4 2004 by Robert Hunter

Family Bible Study lesson for Nov. 21: Be Thankful! : Friday, Nov 5, 2004
Friday, Nov 5, 2004

Family Bible Study lesson for Nov. 21: Be Thankful!

By Robert Hunter
Focal Passage: Psalm 65:1-13

Is God good? I mean really good? That's the question that is on the minds of many people today. In fact, it has been a question on my mind at times.

As I think about today's passage, two soldiers died in the Middle East today and more will probably die tomorrow and more the day after that and on and on. I look around the world and see other wars as well as escalating crime and hunger. And then there is the suffering of the innocent. A minister in my area lost his only son over the memorial weekend while on a Sunday School outing.

What good that is seen is often attributed to the benevolent hearts of fellow strugglers, or attributed to government, or most anything but God. But, the Bible reminds us that all that is good comes from God. God is gracious and powerful and He acts on behalf of believers. For these actions we should give thanks. The Psalmist reminds us of some of these actions.

God should be praised and thanked because of the forgiveness He provides, for the hope He provides, for the provisions He provides and for His bounty.

Thanks for God's forgiveness

Psalm 65:1-4

We should be thankful for God's forgiveness. The Psalmist starts out by telling us where to praise God. We should praise Him in the courtyards of His holy temple. We should sing hymns of praise and pray prayers of praise. He has forgiven His people's sins and because of that they are able to enjoy His presence in worship.

Thanks for God's hope

Psalm 65:5-8

We should be thankful for God's mighty acts. God delivers and saves His people. He has been seeking people even from the very beginning. Their salvation has been His utmost desire. God's power is evident by His raising the mountains and calming the seas. Morning and evening are sent by God and, therefore, should elicit our praise.

Thanks for God's bounty

Psalm 65:9-13

We should be thankful for God's mighty provision. God waters the earth. Without water there would be famine. A soft rainfall nourishes the land. It makes the fields of corn stand tall and salute a mighty God.

The Psalmist described what the rain-washed land looked like and how it felt to see the land's thirst satisfied. After a rain the meadows would turn green and the valleys would wave their fertile acres of grain. It's no wonder that nature would shout and sing.

If nature shouts then should not we, who have a personal relationship with the Creator, shout even more? Maybe we have become too sterile in our belief. Maybe we are too much like Huckleberry Finn: "We had the sky, up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made, or only just happened."

Too many think they "just happened."

Walt Whitman wrote a poem entitled "Leaves of Grass" where he argued that some discoveries had spoiled and ruined the romance of the stars. Step out tonight and pray to our Creator to help you glimpse that romance once more. After all, the stars, the rain, the sunshine were all created for our benefit.

Even though I can't endorse him as a theologian, Jim Carrey of "Ace Ventura," the "Riddler," the "Grinch," "Liar Liar," and "Bruce Almighty," gives thanks. In a USA Today interview he stated, "I would challenge anybody in their darkest moment to write what they're grateful for, even stupid little things like green grass that made them feel good, the friendly conversation they had with somebody on an elevator. You start to realize how rich you are."

We, as believers, have the greatest reason in the world, and in the one yet to come, to be thankful.

If you are having trouble finding something to be thankful for then start with the fact that you are able to read. Or, if someone is reading this to you then be thankful you can hear. Or, be thankful that you live in a country where God's word can be printed. Or, ...

11/4/2004 11:00:00 PM by Robert Hunter | with 0 comments

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