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  • Young's Grove Baptist Church

Are We Thankful? Really Thankful? - Keith Arp

“We need to discover all over again that worship is natural to the Christian, just as it was to the godly Israelites who wrote the psalms and that the habit of celebrating the greatness and graciousness of God yields an endless flow of thankfulness, joy, and zeal” – J.I. Packer

Psalm 106:1-2 1“Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. 2 Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord or fully declare his praise? (NASB 2020)

In Hebrew, the phrase “Praise the Lord” is “Halelu Yah”. Sound familiar? We see that phrase many times in the Psalms. This chapter is really a continuation of praise from the end of 105. Alexander MacLaren, widely believed to be the greatest expositor of the scriptures states that “The keynote of Psalm 105 is, ‘Remember His mighty deeds,’ that of Psalm 106 is, ‘They forgot His mighty deeds.’”

The children of Israel are very well known to forget the goodness of God. As MacLaren observed, the psalmist in 105 implored on the people to remember where God had brought them from. When Christians truly find themselves in remembrance of God’s mercy and what He has done for us, “Halelu Yah” seems to be a very small token that we can offer our Redeemer!!!

I learned very soon in my first pastorate that “Hallelujahs” just can’t be “worked up”. I believed every time we entered His house, we as filthy rags would remember His grace, and the members would instantly raise their hands in worship. Heaven would fall from the sky. Women would throw babies. Men would walk the pews. (The previous statements are hyperbole. Women wouldn’t really throw babies. lol)

I’m talking about WORSHIP!!! I mean, how could they not? What mercy!!! What grace!!! However, I began to look at my own failure to worship. We use the excuses of our lives being too busy with our families, our jobs, and being overworked in the responsibilities in the church. (can I get an Amen?) However, no excuse is worthy of forgetting His mercy and grace. The psalmist implores the Israelites to remember their journey. Remember His faithfulness. When the enemy is strong, He is stronger!

Forgetting is a part of living. There will be times that we forget that the creator of the universe knows me by name. We forget that if I were the only one lost, in need of a savior, the story of the crucifixion would not change. If I were the only one that needed to be atoned, He would still shed His blood as my atonement! We will forget, but His mercy still loves! We will forget, but His grace still forgives!

This upcoming Thursday, we will be coming together with our families and eat the best food on the planet. We will all gain 10 pounds. We will watch football. Tryptophan will knock us all out. We will stay awake all night to get to the best sales the next morning. During all that let us find ourselves thankful. Thankful for our families. Thankful for a very flawed nation that still provides the freedom to gather on Sundays without the fear of persecution. But above all, let us cry “Halelu Yah...” for simply who He is. Let us be thankful. REALLY THANKFUL!!!

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