As we approach the American holiday of Thanksgiving, we have the privilege of knowing why we should be thankful. Scripture does not decree the setting aside of one day in a year to be thankful for the bountiful blessings of the land. But scripture does decree that God’s people be a thankful people.
God has provided us with understanding that the physical national blessings are only an extension of the real blessings God provides.
In the book of Isaiah, chapter 51 we find a prophecy which is directed toward those who are striving to have a relationship with God – those who “seek the Lord.”
“Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him. For the Lord will comfort Zion, He will comfort her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody” (Isaiah 51: 1-3).
This is a spiritual message based on physical facts surrounding God’s calling of Abraham and the national development of Israel. The prophecy envelops the Church – Zion – built on the type of Israel.
In being instructed to seek God, the implication is that He will be found. And in finding, Him there is a deep protective relationship (Zephaniah 2:3). Our view is Christ – the Rock — a deeply stabilizing influence in an unstable world. We look back to Abraham, remembering everything that God did in calling him. God blessed him; God increased him. That is the foundation upon which a national day of thanksgiving should be based. Knowing that gives us a much bigger picture. Abraham and Sarah are types of salvation.
The rise of Israel was a miracle of God’s divine power and purpose. God called Abraham out of a godless world into a relationship that would not only produce a nation, but also the Church – Zion. God blessed and increased Abraham. It was from Abraham that the Seed came. “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made … who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16).
The Church is comforted in her waste places. “…For the Lord has comforted His people and will have mercy on His afflicted” (Isaiah 49:13). We find comfort in God’s mercy and the knowledge of His presence in the spiritual wilderness. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1: 3-4).
The Church, like the Garden of Eden, is a type of what He has in store for all mankind. The Church is fed “meat” and “water” – the true sustenance that promotes real life. It is sad that a nation can only designate one day a year to being thankful. We, the Church, are to be thankful every day.
Look to Abraham and be reminded of God’s great plan. Look to the Rock and be reassured of God’s purpose for His Church. Let us be a very thankful people.