You are welcome to use the writings on these pages or pass them on to others who might find a touch from God in the words. Our purpose is always to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you everything, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring these words to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom its been shared. All rights reserved. Peggy Hoppes
Christian Bible Study Pages
Travel PagesSalisbury Plain
Our Lord is so good, He grants us many blessings. We can see Him in the daily course of events, in our homes, our jobs, our lives. I pray that these words help you to grow in your faith and recognize His hand in even the most mundane circumstances.
The picture to the right is of a Celtic Chapel located in Cornwall England. This building is approximately 1700 years old, and contains a holy well known for its healing powers.
(Click for enlarged)
ďFor Yahweh your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of springs, and underground water flowing into valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates; a land of olive trees and honey; a land in which you shall eat bread without scarceness, you shall not lack anything in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you may dig copper. You shall eat and be full, and you shall bless Yahweh your God for the good land which he has given you. Beware lest you forget Yahweh your God, in not keeping his commandments, and his ordinances, and his statutes, which I command you today; lest, when you have eaten and are full, and have built fine houses, and lived in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; then your heart might be lifted up, and you forget Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with fiery serpents and scorpions, and thirsty ground where there was no water; who poured water for you out of the rock of flint; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers didnít know; that he might humble you, and that he might prove you, to do you good at your latter end: and lest you say in your heart, ĎMy power and the might of my hand has gotten me this wealth.í But you shall remember Yahweh your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth; that he may establish his covenant which he swore to your fathers, as it is today.Ē Deuteronomy 8:7-18, WEB
The Israelites had been wandering in the wilderness for forty years. Most of those who left Egypt with Moses had died and a new generation was getting ready to enter the Promised Land. God had been faithful for all those years even though His people had not been faithful. After all, thatís why they could not enter into Godís rest forty years earlier. The book of Deuteronomy is Mosesí sermon to the people, to remind them that God never left them even when they turned from Him. He reminded them of Godís Law and He encouraged them to be faithful to the God who was always faithful to them.
The Israelites had much for which to be thankful. Look at the blessings that God was promising to them as they entered into the Promised Land. It was a good land with plenty of water, a wonderful promise after wandering in a desert for so long. The fields would be filled with good food and they would not hunger again. After so many years of manna, I can imagine a hot baked loaf of bread with honey would be a delight. Entering into the Promised Land meant that Godís promises to Abraham were finally being fulfilled after hundreds of years of waiting. No wonder they were thankful.
Thankfulness is about more than words and a list of blessings. It is easy in our comfort and satisfaction to forget about the God who is never far and who provides all we need. We need to be careful that we do not take all His blessings for granted, to fall into the temptation of giving ourselves credit for the good lives we are living. A life of thankfulness manifests in more than lip service, it is a life lived in obedience to God. Moses reminds the people in this passage that their years of wandering were because they turned away from God. They suffered hunger and thirst, serpents and scorpions and a whole generation passed away before they could receive the promise. ďDo not forget what God has done for you or you, too, will find yourself humbled.Ē
God does not do this to punish His people, but to remind them of the source of all their power. Israel failed over and over again, often turning from God in their comfort or their fear to other powers, whether their own or their allies. God gave them over to their rebellion, though never far from them, so that they would cry out to Him for help. Sadly, we havenít learned the lesson, and we too turn from God. We might say the words of thanksgiving, but our lives do not manifest our love and trust of God. We take credit for our blessings and we rely on our own strength, but even in our rebellion God is near. He reminds us in this text to remember all He has done with thanksgiving, but also calls us to obedience. For it is not just saying the words but in living His Word that we show our thankfulness and glorify Him.
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ďGive thanks to Yahweh, for he is good; for his loving kindness endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods; for his loving kindness endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords; for his loving kindness endures forever: To him who alone does great wonders; for his loving kindness endures forever.Ē Psalm 136:1-4, WEB
Why do we thank God? Thatís a question the world might ask; sometimes we even ask it ourselves. We look at our possessions and think about the hours we have slaved at jobs to earn the money to buy these things. God did not give them to us, so why thank Him? We think about the jobs we have and we know we are lucky to be employed, but we also know that we spent years in school and working our way up the corporate ladder to have the position. God didnít hand it to us. We might have prayed for that job, but there were a lot of very earthbound reasons why it is ours. We love our spouses and our friends and we are thankful that they are in our lives, but when we struggle in those relationships we wonder if they are really what God intends for our lives.
The people of the world think we are foolish for thanking God for that which comes to us by our hard work and personal decisions. We sometimes even wonder about it ourselves, especially when we donít quite feel blessed. Sadly, for Christians, it isnít even that we doubt Godís hand in our lives, but most of the time we just donít think about God in our thankfulness. As we post that we are thankful for sweaters and coffee and our favorite television shows, are we thankful to God or simply thankful? When we are thankful for our blessings are we really giving praise to God?
The psalm for today continues with a long list of reasons why the psalmist calls us to give thanks to God. He created the world and the heavens. He led the Hebrews out of Egypt, with everything that went along with their journey to the Promised Land. He rescued Godís people from their enemies and provided for them. ďOh give thanks to the God of heaven; for his loving kindness endures forever.Ē This list included miraculous moments in the story of Israel, but also the destruction of those who stood in the way of Godís plan for His people. The people of the world question whether we should be thankful to such a God.
Yes, we work hard for the life we have, for our jobs and homes and even our relationships. God does not hand such things to us. Yes, we all struggle with times of trouble and uncertainty about this God who doesnít always seem to be a blessing. Yet, as people of faith we are called to give thanks to God for He is good. We are thankful not simply because we have a bunch of stuff, a job and people we love. We are thankful because He IS. We are thankful for what He has done. We are thankful for His promises. We are thankful because we know His loving kindness endures forever. It is good to be thankful for sweaters and coffee and our favorite televisions shows, but let us always remember that even if we had nothing for which to be thankful in this world, we are called to be thankful to God.
The following links provide some specially chosen scripture that tell the stories of the Birth and Passion of our Lord as Saviour Jesus Christ, as well as a fictional perspective of the Crucifixion. Spend time in God's Word, read about His life and learn of the wonderful gifts He has for you. Know Jesus Christ and honour Him today. Thanks be to God.
When researching, I use several versions of the bible, including the New International Version and English Standard Version. Due to copyright restrictions, I have not included quotes for the scriptures on some of the archives, but highly encourage you to open your own bibles to read the scripture passages for yourselves. Where scripture is quoted, it is usually the American Standard Version or World English Bible which belong to the public domain. Any other versions used in quotes are identified.
The devotion posted on Wednesday is based on the Lectionary texts used by millions of Christians each Sunday. The Lectionary consists of four texts: an Old Testament passage, a Psalm, a passage from one of the Epistles and a Gospel text and follows the church calendar. Archives for these writings are found at Midweek Oasis.
You are welcome to use these words to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you these gifts, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring them to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom you've shared it. Peggy Hoppes