Thursday, December 28
“The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving”
16 O LORD, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the LORD.
18 I will pay my vows to the LORD Now in the presence of all His people,
19 In the courts of the LORD'S house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!
The Jewish nation has one day a year set apart to observe Passover. This is a day set apart to remember how God through His mighty power and miracles delivered the nation of Israel out of the land of bondage. They were set free to worship Jehovah in the way that He prescribed. Psalm 116 is associated with this yearly observance. It was a part of the Hallel or Hallelujah psalms that would be read or sung before and after the Passover meal.
We are about to close out an old year and begin a new one. This is a great time for us to reflect on the love, mercy, and goodness of the LORD and remember what is really important in life. The psalmist in this psalm seems to be focused on making sure his priorities are right, especially in these last verses of the chapter.
He reminds himself that he is not free to serve himself and live for the pleasures of the flesh. He is the servant of Jehovah and realizes it his duty to live to please Him. He has been “loosed from the bondage” of sin and the flesh by the blood of the Lamb and is eternally grateful and thankful!
After he recognizes his position of a servant and his freedom from bondage, he makes some “I will” statements to chart the course of his future. “I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving”. “I will call upon the name of the LORD”. “I will pay my vows to the LORD…”.
As we close out an old year this would be a good time for us to recognize our covenant relationship with the Lord and our position as His servants. We are not free from sin’s bondage to do what we want to do and what pleases us, but we are free to serve our great and awesome God! This is a good time for us to surrender our will to His will! Jesus prayed, “Not my will but thy will be done”, and so should we.
God desires and seeks for us to worship Him in “spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). We do this by taking the time every day to seek to know Him better through His Word and prayer and communion with Him. Andrew Murray in his devotional book, “God’s Best Secrets” encourages us to have a quiet time each day as he comments on Ecclesiastes 3:1; “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” He says:
“It should be the aim of every Christian to set aside a little time each day for quiet communion with God. A time for everything, and shall there be no time to spend in the presence of the Creator of all things? No time to contemplate His will and purposes for us? The holy, loving God is indeed worthy of the best of our time, and of all our time. We should live in constant fellowship with Him, but each day there should be a special time of quiet when we are with Him alone.”
“We need a period daily for secret fellowship. Time to turn from daily occupation and search our hearts in His presence. Time to study His Word with reverence and godly fear. Time to seek His face and ask Him to make Himself known to us. Time to wait until we know that He sees and hears us so that we can make our wants known to Him in words that come from the depth of our hearts. Time to let God deal with our special needs, to let His light shine in our hearts, to let ourselves be filled with His Spirit!” (From his December 26 Devotional)
I again want to encourage my friends to visit my website where you can connect with daily devotionals from Oswald Chamber’s, “My Utmost for His Highest”, and Henry and Richard Blackaby’s, “Experiencing God Day by Day”. And also, a daily Bible Reading calendar for 2024, and readings from the Psalms and Proverbs.
The Pastor Mike Impact Ministries website is: https://www.pmiministries.org/
Today, let us give the LORD the “sacrifice of thanksgiving” by spending some time with Him!