Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south. (Psalm 107: 1-3)
This is time for giving thanks to God. God is good, and His love endures forever. In our daily life, His love always stands firm and tall regardless what we think and feel about Him because His love has never changed and will not in future too. For this year, we might have lots of stories to tell, Or some of us are still under a storm of life, being surrounded by troubles and even enemies. It is time to stop, stand still, and look back what He has done to our life in this year. Surly, His strong hand has been always with us, and redeemed us from the foe. Sometimes our hearts and minds were blown away by a storm, but His hand was still there to hold us tight against the strong wind. This is to time for thanksgiving before God. Our God gives us a rest in our heart, which is not like that the world can give. From east, west, north and south, He gathers all His people to make them join His rest. Hear His voice: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)” His love endures forever.
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:
“I will sing to the Lord,
for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
he has hurled into the sea.
“The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:1-2)
The 360 years of slavery was ended by crossing the red sea. Moses and the Israelites witnessed the power of God and His salvation, which was foretold. Not because they kept the faith, but Our God was faithful, the freedom came. Nobody could resist praising God with thanksgiving. They sang to the Lord about the God’s mighty hand that hurled both horse and driver into the sea. The security and assurance on the side of God turned into a song: “The lord is my strength and defender. He has become my salvation.” The sound of praise of 600,000 voices shook the land and the sea. What a awesome scene it was! “He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him” They danced with musical instruments in a true joy of being released from the age-old bondage. They must have felt that the bondage would never end because it was there with them when there were born and died. Day after day, and year after year, all same suffering and hopelessness saw they. However, the day of salvation came. Now they found that they were firmly standing on the land of freedom as promised by God. How about us? Just look back. What do we see? One thing is true that we are standing firm on the land of promise of God. The bondage of the sin has completely shattered by the power of the cross. Yes, like the Israelites, who met challenges and hardships after the crossing the red sea, we surely walked on a land of difficulty and hardship. Then please ask a question: “Was the journey really impossible like crossing the red sea?” We are His, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ on cross.
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! (1 Chronicles 16:8-13)
King David waited and waited. Finally, the Ark had arrived in Jerusalem. He could not stop dancing and singing before God. His heart was like a child who only looks to the eyes of his/her parents who loved to have happiness of their children. He gave thanks to the Lord while calling upon His name and making a joyful noise. His joy was too great to be confined in his heart. “David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy” (1 Chronicles 15:16) David proclaimed His wondrous works to all his people. “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (1 Chronicles 16:34)
“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 16:35-36)
All the Israelites joined David’s joy and thanksgiving, and said “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting!” What a beautiful scene it was! The joy of bringing the Ark was so great that the Israelites stopped their daily lives, and gathered in Jerusalem to give thanks to God. Yes, Jesus came to find us, and entered into our life. He removed the bondage of sin and death, and gave new life so that we can live Jesus from now and to eternity, which we have been yarning for long time. Isn’t it time to shout for rejoice and give highest praises from the deepest part of our heart for His unfailing love and grace? His name will be glorified from now to eternity because His love endures forever. Let’s make a joyful noise, and give the highest praise to God because He has made us to cross the red sea. We are His people forever. His mercy and love endure forever! Amen.
Let’s pray together to give thanks to God, who is always faithful, and who has been guiding us with His loving hand through a stormy and glassy sea. We are His sheep in His pasture. Praise Him! His might hand will be with us forever. We are His people, and His beloved children.