From the "Generations Project"
Thanksgiving is a favorite time of the year. It is a time set aside by an earlier generation of Godly leaders to remind us of God's blessings on our nation. While it has become a time for gathering with family and friends and celebrating of “Turkey Day” and so many other things we must not forget that the central purpose is to worship God for His bountiful blessings on us. Thankfulness is a recognition that what we enjoy is not just the result of our personal efforts but also of the sacrifice of others on our behalf. Absolutely none of us would be where we are or enjoy the things we have if it were not for what God and others have shared with us.
It comes almost as an understatement for the Psalmist to say, “It is a good thing to give thanks...” By contrast it is a bad thing if we have become so selfish and self-centered that we can not recognize the benefits that we have derived from others. Let us endeavor to always see even the little contributions others make in our lives. We will be the better for it and to live life in a spirit of Thanksgiving and gratefulness can not but make our lives and the lives of others better.
The object of our thanks in this passage is “the LORD.” He is the cause and beginning of everything we have and are. He is worthy of our worship and praise. When we are grateful to Him for what He has done it just follows naturally that we will be thankful for others and their contributions to our success. It is also no accident that the Psalmist mentions singing. Not everyone can sing with a voice that is pleasant but we can always sing with the heart. Paul even expresses it that way in Colossians 3:16, “singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” The purpose of the songs is to “show forth” to others. While private devotion is important it is also very important to be involved in public expression of our thanks. To “show forth” is to reach out beyond ourselves to others in the world who need to hear our witness of God's character.
The Psalmist worships God for two very important aspects of His character. First, we show His lovingkindness. That is a word that is closely akin to our word “grace” in the New Testament. It is obviously a combination of two words “loving” and “kindness.” It expresses the constant benefit bestowed on us every morning as we rise to live in the power and desire of our gracious God. Second, we show His faithfulness every night as we recount the ways God has shown Himself strong on our behalf throughout the day. This idea is expressed in another great passage from Lamentations 3:22-23, "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
It ought to be the joy and rejoicing our hearts to sing His praises every morning and evening! May God grant us the wisdom to live lives of constant praise to Him. O Magnify the LORD with me!