Thanksgiving in Uncertainty
By WMM Staff
When our economic and political future is uncertain, clearly we need Thanksgiving – a time when we can give thanks to the One who holds all things securely. We see the principles of this attitude in the offerings laid out in the Hebrew Scriptures. The thanksgiving offering found in Leviticus 7 was called todah, the Hebrew word for thanks and was part of the peace offerings. “If he offers it [the peace offerings] by way of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil…of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings” (Leviticus 7:12,15).
It is only when we have true peace with God that we can offer true thanksgiving to God. If we lack a thankful heart before God, then perhaps we should see if we have genuine peace with God. This is why Yeshua is also our “peace [offering]” in Ephesians 2:14, “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one.” Both Jews and Gentiles are made into one family in God by partaking together in Messiah our peace offering. Indeed, peace with God is the basis for peace with one another. The scriptures mention that no leftovers were permitted with the Thanksgiving offering: “Now as for the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings, it shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it over until morning” (Lev. 7:15).
There was a sense of urgency to be thankful as a testimony to God’s faithfulness. Our giving of thanks must not be left over until morning.
So often we want to wait to see how things will turn out before we give thanks to God. But, this ‘wait and see’ attitude reveals a lack of faith. In the midst of problems, faith testifies that “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). This is why the New Covenant teaches, “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Messiah Yeshua” (1 Thess. 5:18).
Do not wait to see how things will turn out, instead, give thanks to God now. Thanksgiving is a sacrifice of faith that reflects trust in God’s sovereign will. In fact, those who left over the todah (offering) for a later time committed a sin and were not accepted before God “So if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings should ever be eaten on the third day, he who offers it shall not be accepted, and it shall not be reckoned to his benefit. It shall be an offensive thing, and the person who eats of it shall bear his own iniquity” (Lev. 7:18).
God does not force us to believe; we believe Him because He is trustworthy. Personal faith in God means dependence on who He is. Sometimes our circumstances are so difficult that giving thanks to God is truly a choice – a free will offering of faith. We are exhorted to offer the fruit of our lips, the sacrifice of thanksgiving to our God today, this month and forever “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name” (Heb. 13:15).
We are thankful to you and for you, as together we are reaching out to Jewish people around the world. There is no better time than this Thanksgiving season to express our deepest appreciation to you. Todah rabah – Thank you very much!
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word…” (Col. 4:2,3).
“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…” Psalm 107:1-2a
Todah rabah – Thank you very much!