A Biblical Thanksgiving

Can you imagine being present when the Ark of the Covenant was returned to Israel? It was a day of celebration complete with singing, dancing, feasting, and worship. A day of giving thanks to God.

If we look back at 1 Chronicles 13, we see the earnest desire of David and the people to bring the Ark of the Covenant, the symbol of God’s very presence, home. The desire to do good seemed right in their own eyes, but they forgot to look to God to see what He deemed right. In the process, they transgressed, a man died, and they were not able to accomplish their task.

In chapter 14, we see that as life went on, David learned to consult God before he made a big decision. God rewarded him with an answer and David responded correctly as seen in verse 12: And they left their gods (idols) there; and David gave commandment, and they were burned with fire. ASV As David learned to follow God’s leading, God in turn blessed his efforts, and David found victory.

Through this process, David began to understand both the holiness and the faithfulness of God. 1 Chronicles 15 shows the detail with which David prepared to bring the Ark home, this time in accordance with God’s requirements as he truly sought to honor God with reverence. The priests and Levites sanctified themselves in preparation for the sacred task before them. They now understood this to be a holy mission.

This obedience bought joy (vs. 25) and God’s help (vs. 26), which led the people to begin celebrating with sacrifices, shouting, song, and dance during the journey from Obed Edom’s house to the place prepared for the ark. This culminated with a huge celebration in 1 Chronicles 16 where, after offering more sacrifices to the Lord, David gave gifts of food to all the people.

King David then appointed people whose job was to minister before the ark of Jehovah, and to celebrate and to thank and praise Jehovah, the God of Israel ASV with various musical instruments. It must have been amazing to be present for this celebration of Thanksgiving!

Their Song

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!

Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!

Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of Israel his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.

Remember his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac, which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan, as your portion for an inheritance.”

When you were few in number, of little account, and sojourners in it,
wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people,
he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account,
saying, “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!”

Sing to the LORD, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!

For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,
and he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.

Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place.

Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him!

Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth;
yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD,
for he comes to judge the earth.

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

Say also: “Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather and deliver us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.

Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting!” Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD. (1 Chronicles 16:8-36)

Like David, we can celebrate and give thanks to God for bringing His presence to us.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Also like David, we will find victory when we seek God and allow Him to dwell in us.

But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:10-11)

Let’s take time to show God our gratitude
both inwardly and outwardly
and celebrate wholeheartedly like David did!

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.