No. 324. Appointed to Give Thanks.

Colours of the Rainbow > Thanksgiving > No. 324. Appointed to Give Thanks.

A friend recently brought to my attention two people in the bible of whom very little is known, but who I believe are very significant for us as we come towards the end of our year of ‘Thanksgiving’. They are found in 1 Chronicles 16:41,42, and they are called Heman and Jeduthan. They, with others, were chosen and designated by name ‘to give thanks to the Lord, “for His love endures forever.”’ So I got to wondering why it was that, among the priesthood, a few men were named and designated for this specific task. Why, when all the important ceremonies and rituals were in place, did this little group get called and commissioned in this way?

And, as I pondered, I began to think that it was so that they could be undistracted in their task of keeping connection with God. They would be there to keep the direction of thought towards God, with their thanksgiving, in whatever state the nation found itself. It would only take a small dedicated number to keep their focus on the Lord’s enduring love, and to speak, sing, or shout that out, and so turn the gaze of all the priests, and then all the nation to the faithfulness of their God. A small dedicated and designated group would be all that were needed to set the spiritual direction of the nation.

This would be true in times of war, in times of political unrest, in times of famine or drought, all those times, in fact,  when others would be focusing on things like battle plans, resources and survival or combating false religions. A small dedicated band who were keeping their hearts in gratitude and worship, would be there to remind everyone, from where the needed help was going to come. Psalm 121:2. Their thanksgiving for the Lord’s steadfast love would even be needed in times of prosperity and rest, for God knew that this was often a dangerous time, a time when His people might quickly forget Him and all that He had done for them. Deuteronomy 4:9. Psalm 103:1-5.

It occurred to me that, in a similar way, when we, as individuals, are assailed by things that would distract us from the Lord’s goodness; the physical challenges of life, i.e. our health, our finances, where we live, etc; or the emotional ones – our relationships, our job situation, our losses and bereavements; or the spiritual ones, ‘Where is God in this situation?’, ‘How am I going to cope?’, ‘What shall I do in this situation?’ ‘Why is this happening now?’, then we need a small part of us that will settle our focus on the Lord. We only need a small part of us to keep our connection with the Lord strong. We only need a small, but powerful, part of us to draw the rest of us – body, emotions, mind and spirit in the right direction, to stay in a place of faith.

So what might be the small ‘named and designated’ part of me? Well how about, ‘O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.’ Psalm 51:15? Or, ‘Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.’  Psalm 63:3,5, and ‘May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees.’ Psalm 119:171. Perhaps the writer to the Hebrews sums it up writing, ‘Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips that give thanks to His name.’ Hebrews 13:15, NASB.

It’s not literally the same part of our anatomy, but I think James captures a similar thought when he reminds us of the power of the tongue, in James 3:1- 11. In this case he describes how a ‘small rudder’ can steer a big ship, or a small spark can set a forest ablaze. Lips, mouth, tongue, they are all small parts of the body, but with such power. No wonder the Psalmist wrote, ‘Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.’ Psalm 141:3.

So let us designate and dedicate our lips for thanksgiving. Let our lips be the ‘member’ of our body that leads our mind, emotions and spirit, helping us to keep our focus on the Lord’s goodness by continually giving thanks. Now Jesus was clear, He did not want words alone. He spoke with sadness of those who, “honour me with their lips but their heart is far from me.” Matthew 15:8. So we are not talking about using our lips in a mindless kind of thanksgiving by rote. Let us instead see that, as we give thanks in all circumstances, our heart ’follows’ the words coming from our lips, and we glorify Him not just in our words, but our thoughts and our spirit also.


Sign up to receive notifications when a new post has been published as well as our latest news from Hillcrest. You can unsubscribe any time, please view our privacy policy for more details.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Sign up to receive notifications when a new post has been published as well as our latest news from Hillcrest. You can unsubscribe any time, please view our privacy policy for more details.