Many of us will soon gather around tables with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. For some of us, the day will be filled with feasting and fun. For others, the day will be one of grief and sadness, especially if loved ones are missing from the table. But regardless of whether we are rejoicing or weeping this holiday season, the Bible teaches us to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:16), and Psalm 118 teaches us how and why to do this.
The psalmist calls us to give thanks to the Lord for three main things: His steadfast love, His salvation, and His stone.
Give Thanks for His Steadfast Love
Psalm 118 opens in the same way it closes, highlighting the eternality of God’s covenant love, “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever” (118:1, 29). The Lord’s goodness is grounded in His covenant love for His people and God’s people should praise Him for it. The psalmist could not be clearer that all believers should sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, “Let Israel…the house of Aaron…those who fear the LORD say, ‘His steadfast love endures forever’” (vv. 2-4).
Ever since Genesis 3, the account of humankind’s fall into sin, the thread of the covenant of grace has been woven throughout Scripture. God’s covenant love endures because it is based on the obedience of His Son, Jesus Christ. He came as both Lord of the covenant, extending grace and peace, as well as the servant of the covenant, perfectly fulfilling the law of God on our behalf. “All the promises of God find their Yes in him” (2 Cor. 1:20). This Thanksgiving our hearts should give thanks for the Lord’s steadfast love…