Is there an attitude of thankfulness for all the blessings we have today? In most countries there is ample food and clothing, especially in Australia where there is an abundance of everything we could possibly require – and many things we do not need! It is such a contrast to the time in the early part of the 20th century and the world wars when many experienced the difficulties of rationing , poverty and want for years afterwards. But now there is more than plenty of everything – but how many are thankful?
We have to say that a thankful spirit is rarely seen, instead the spirit is to seek more and more, especially money – and look for someone to blame (usually the Govt) when it is lacking.
This is a train of thought that occurred to us as we read David’s 69th Psalm, written at a difficult time of his life, despairing of “those who hate me without a cause” [v.4]. He saw many who lacked any love for God and he says to God, “the reproaches of those who reproached you have fallen on me” [v.9]
Parts of the Psalm are a prophecy of the experiences of his ‘greater son’ Jesus, “I looked for pity, but there was none … for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink” [v.20, 21]. This pointed forward when David’s greater son was on the cross – see John 19 v.29
Of those who showed no pity, David wrote, “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living” [v.28] and sadly that will also be the lot of all those who do not have the spirit of thanksgiving, but instead take everything, as their “right” to possess.
The Psalm starts to reach its climax as David writes, “let your salvation, O God set me on high! I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.” [v.29,30]. We saw a direct parallel to this in our Exodus reading (Ch.15) when “Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD” [v.1]. It was a song of thanksgiving, “I will sing to the LORD … he has become my salvation … I will praise him … I will exalt him.” [v.2] And surely we will do this, if by His grace we are there, in his kingdom.
Those under Moses in the wilderness, initially had a spirit of “thanksgiving” but. sadly, as we read on in Exodus, we will see how the great majority failed to maintain their thankfulness and confidence in God. In v. 26 we read today that the LORD said to them, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God and do that which is right in his eyes …” [v.26]. But they did not continue to listen and do so.
Today, we can say, if we will continue to diligently read the word that God has caused to be preserved – and “magnify him with thanksgiving” in our hearts genuinely believing and living in ways that show we really believe – then – yes then, we will reach that wondrous promised land – a renewed and glorified earth.