H. A. Ironside the Canadian born Bible Teacher, once told about going to a crowded cafeteria for a meal.
As he carried his tray looking for a table, every table was full, except for one with a single man sitting there. Ironside asked if he might join him. The man nodded and grunted something unintelligible.
When Ironside sat down, he bowed his head and silently gave thanks for his food. The other man asked, ““Well, is something wrong with your food?”
“No, it seems fine.”
“Well, do you have a headache?” the man persisted. “I saw you closing your eyes and putting your hands on your head.”
“No,” replied Ironside. “I was simply thanking God for my food as I always do before I eat.”
“Oh, you believe in the bosh, do you?” The man snorted.
“Don’t you ever give thanks?”
“Nah,” the man sneered, “I don’t believe in giving thanks for anything. I just start right in.”
“Ah” Ironside cheerfully replied. “You’re just like my dog.”
“Huh?” The man said, looking puzzled and annoyed.
“My dog never gives thanks either,” Ironside relied. “He just starts right in.”
It’s difficult for many of us to believe that giving thanks would ever be a problem. Apparently it is for some people.
With Thanksgiving holiday approaching tomorrow, many will join family and friends to enjoy turkey and dressing with all the trimmings. But to whom does the atheist and infidel give thanks? I suppose to the person who cooked the meal. Or, if in a restaurant, to the server or the chef.
But the Bible teaches us that it is from God that all blessings flow. Five times in Psalm 107 the writer implored, “Oh, give thanks unto the Lord.” Each time he speaks of God’s goodness. How He protected them, provided for them and delivered them from trouble.
In this song of Thanksgiving, the Psalmist exclaimed, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (Ps. 100:4).
Paul admonished, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18).
While thanksgiving ought to be a daily occurrence for God’s people, it is well to remember that Thanksgiving Day was born out of gratitude for God’s blessings.
Though they suffered hardship and a harsh first winter, the 17th century pilgrims who came to America expressed their gratitude to God for their safe arrival and His providential care as He sustained them. This spirit prompted Governor William Bradford to issue this proclamation on November 29, 1623, which in part reads.
“…the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us … spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God, according to the dictates of our own conscience.”
Our first President, George Washington proclaimed that Thursday, November 26, 1789, be designated “for the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving.”
Most succeeding Presidents continued the tradition of a national day of Thanksgiving, recognizing God’s blessings. Even during the bitterness of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln, issued this proclamation, October 3, 1863.
“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People,” the proclamation read. “I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
It wasn’t until 1942 during the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration that Congress passed a law marking the 4th Thursday of November to be our official Thanksgiving Day.
On this Thanksgiving Day, don’t be like your dog. Pause and reflect on your many blessings. And “give thanks unto the Lord for His goodness.”
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
3 responses to “Don’t Be Like Your Dog”
Ken, may you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving. I talked with someone this morning and expressed that not only this day but every day should be a day of Thanksgiving.
Thanks, Peggy. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. God bless.
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