Thanksgiving is the one day that the nation has set aside to offer thanks and gratitude to our God. The problem in our religiously pluralistic society is that there have been thousands of gods created in man’s own image—none of them resembling the One true God who created all things and upholds “all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). So when we talk about Thanksgiving Day, some people are confused as to which deity is to be thanked.
This wasn’t an issue in 1789 when President George Washington proclaimed a holiday for expressing thanks to God. Or in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an annual observance. In fact, it really wasn’t even an issue in 1941 when the U.S. Congress fixed the observance of this national holiday to be on the 4th Thursday of November. From the outset of our nation the basic Judeo-Christian teaching that there is only one God was held and accepted by all – even the Deists (who claimed that while there was only one God you couldn’t really know Him). The point is this—if we are to celebrate a holiday that is designed for us to give thanks to God, then who is this God we are to thank?
The Bible tells us who He is. He is El Shaddai (God Almighty). He is Jehovah Shalom (God our peace). He is Jehovah Nissi (the Lord our banner). He is Immanuel (God with us). He is the great I AM; the Alpha and Omega; the Beginning and the End; the First and the Last; the Everlasting Father; the Prince of Peace. The clearest and ultimate revelation of God is seen in His name Jesus (Savior). There are many other names the Bible gives us pertaining to God and His magnificent character.
But at this time of year as we pause to give thanks, I believe the name Jehovah Jireh best fits the sentiments of our hearts. This name describes Him as God our provider. We find Abraham using this name for God in Genesis 22. After God had tested Abraham’s faith and then prevented him from sacrificing his son, Isaac, He provided Abraham a ram to offer as a sacrifice. Thus Abraham, overwhelmed by the goodness and grace of God, named the place Jehovah Jireh (The-Lord-Will-Provide).
My heart does flips when I read and meditate on that passage! There is not a single Christian anywhere who should not have that same feeling towards God. (In fact, considering the common-grace of God that provides all things pertaining to life, even lost people should acknowledge God as such). Jehovah-Jireh / God our Provider! Have you ever paused to consider that without God you have absolutely nothing? Think about it. Without God you have no rain to make plants grow resulting in food to consume; you have no sun to cause things to grow; you have no air to breathe; you have no brain to intellectually comprehend even the simplest of truths; I could go on-and-on.
The bottom line is this—without God we don’t even exist. He is the provider of all things. He is the giver and sustainer of life. Let’s be sure and acknowledge Him as such this Thanksgiving season. We have so much to be thankful for that our daily lives should be lived in constant gratitude to our Creator and God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Be sure and offer adequate thanks to Him this Thanksgiving season. This would reflect the true meaning of this particular holiday. It also reflects that you are growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
By His Grace,