Giving Thanks Biblically at Thanksgiving

by | Nov 17, 2021 | Holidays

As Americans prepare for Thanksgiving, it’s important to look at not only what we have to give thanks for but what the origins of giving thanks are. Of course Americans know that the first Thanksgiving was a joyous celebration of the bounty, which the Pilgrims had experienced in the New World. The early settlers were devout Christians and knew that they were not just giving thanks generically but to God.

Today, while Thanksgiving is a holiday during which Americans travel sometimes across country to spend time with friends and loved ones over the long holiday weekend, sometimes we forget what we are giving thanks for and to whom. It’s important to underscore what the Pilgrims knew; that all providence is from God and, therefore, to explore the biblical roots of giving thanks.

If one looks at the biblical festivals, it’s very easy to see that we celebrate God’s providence seasonally: celebrating the Exodus from Egypt, the harvest and receiving the Torah and how He always provides even in the desert. More recent, but no less biblical, are the miracles of the rededication of the Temple at Chanukah and the saving of the Jews in ancient Persia, as recounted in Esther. Jews have celebrated these for millennia and only more recently have Christians begun to understand that while these are uniquely Jewish holidays, they are nevertheless biblical holidays. Those wishing to connect with the Jewish roots of their faith as Christians have begun celebrating these holidays in their own way.

While each holiday has its own theme, a common thread that runs throughout is giving thanks. In that context, Psalm 113-118 are recited and often sung. It’s known as Hallel, a biblical foundation upon which both Jews and Christians can relate.

Following the restoration of Jewish sovereignty to the land of Israel, and Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948, these same psalms of thanks were incorporated as a cornerstone of celebrating Israel’s rebirth. Jews and Christians also understand this in modern times as the fulfillment of prophesy and, therefore, often join together in celebrating, adopting a biblical tradition in modern times as we thank God for His faithfulness.

While not a religious holiday per se, from a Jewish perspective, there’s wide understanding that Thanksgiving is indeed an important holiday not just for American Jews but for Jews worldwide.

Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with a wide range of religious, ethnic and culinary traditions. It’s also become commercial with Black Friday starting weeks in advance and Giving Tuesday as a bombardment of just about every non-profit asking for funds, as if it’s the only day of the year on which people give. However, and with whomever, one celebrates and whether it’s an occasion for mega shopping or a reminder to give generously, one thing that’s for sure, and to which we all need to recommit ourselves, is to give thanks to the One who provides all we have and for which to be grateful. {eoa}

Jonathan Feldstein was born and educated in the U.S. and immigrated to Israel in 2004. He is married and the father of six. Throughout his life and career, he has been blessed by the calling to fellowship with Christian supporters of Israel and shares experiences of living as an Orthodox Jew in Israel. He is president of the Genesis 123 Foundation, which builds bridges between Jews and Christians and writes regularly for a variety of prominent Christian and conservative websites. Inspiration from Zion is the popular webinar series and podcast that he hosts. He can be reached at InspirationfromZion@gmail.com.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Why God is Laughing at Their World Domination Plans

Why God is Laughing at Their World Domination Plans

They will make the greatest bid for world domination in history. It is no longer just armies that threaten freedom—it is corporations and corrupt politicians. I believe that evil in all of its vile colors is even now rising to try to crush our freedom and our...

The Power of a Generational Vision for Your Family

The Power of a Generational Vision for Your Family

Have you noticed that no matter how good you’re doing, trouble always seems to come? Trouble is not an “if” in life. It’s a “when.” Trouble may come in finances, a diagnosis, a family problem or even a season of hardship. But understand this: there is more than one...

Why You Can Say With Confidence That ‘God Saved the Queen’

Why You Can Say With Confidence That ‘God Saved the Queen’

It’s strange being a British-born American. The recent death of Queen Elizabeth II was another reminder of how my British and my American self often see things from different perspectives. Now living in the UK, I made the pilgrimage to London last weekend to pay my...

Dr. Alveda King’s Urgent Message for Christians

Dr. Alveda King’s Urgent Message for Christians

On Sept. 1 President Joe Biden took the stage in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and called MAGA Americans a "threat to democracy." He emboldened Americans to join him in defending democracy against the millions of people who support President Donald Trump. After listening...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Don’t Deceive Yourself

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Don’t Deceive Yourself

People are deceived by pride, by sin, by evil people, by strong drink and by living in fear. If a person is teachable and adheres to the instructions found in the Bible, they will recognize any errors in their thinking and correct themselves. For the rest of this...

RECENT ARTICLES

How You Can Partner with the Holy Spirit for an Unprecedented Harvest of Souls

What is the Great Harvest ultimately about? It is God’s great, deep love for all those whom He has created. It is about His desire that no one should perish, but that everyone should be saved and be...
8 Contrasts Between the Confessing and Compromising Church

8 Contrasts Between the Confessing and Compromising Church

During the days of Nazi Germany, there arose a Confessing church movement that rose against the German church movement, which became the religious arm of the Fascist Nazi Socialist movement. Of the 18,000 pastors in Germany during that time (from 1933 to 1945), less...

Is America Preparing the Way for a One-World Ruler?

Is America Preparing the Way for a One-World Ruler?

The culmination of history is approaching. The end of the world may be at hand. Yet Jesus tells us we should not be alarmed. Why? Because we are engraved in the palms of His hands. Because we are carried in His arms. Because we are the apple of His eye. The time is...

Joyce Meyer: How You Can Make God’s Love Your Lifestyle

Joyce Meyer: How You Can Make God’s Love Your Lifestyle

I have made it a priority to study about love in the Word of God. Getting a revelation about how much God loves me and learning to receive His love has been life-changing for me. It’s been the key to being able to really enjoy my life because when I received God’s...

Pin It on Pinterest