The story is told of a time when King Alfonso XII of Spain taught the attendants of the courts a valuable lesson in gratitude. He had learned that they were not praying to God in thanksgiving for their food before meals. He held a large banquet and arranged for a beggarly man to crash the party. The guests all came in and none gave thanks to God for the magnificent meal. When the beggar arrived, they sat with bated breath expecting the king to have him thrown out. The man ate his fill, got up and left without a word to the king or the guests. The king overheard someone near him comment about the ungratefulness of the beggar. He rose and told them that they are no different than that man, ungrateful servants who never thank the Lord for their gifts. They are even more disgraceful because they ignore their Creator and Master
How easy it is for us to do the same? Oh, perhaps we remember to pray at our meals, but do we thank God for all things? Even in the midst of trial, do we remember God’s grace and mercy as He guides, comforts and protects us from evil? We try to raise our children with good manners, so that they will say please and thank you. Yet, we often forget to teach them to do the same thing in their relationship with the Lord. God has been so very good to us. He gave us the earth and all that is in it and He provides for our every need. He gave us His Son and the salvation that comes from faith in Him. He gave us the gifts we need to carry on His work in this world. How can we not go through each day singing His praises?
“Oh sing unto Jehovah a new song: Sing unto Jehovah, all the earth. Sing unto Jehovah, bless his name; Show forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples. For great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols; But Jehovah made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before him: Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe unto Jehovah, ye kindred’s of the peoples, Ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength. Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due unto his name: Bring an offering, and come into his courts. Oh worship Jehovah in holy array:
Tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, Jehovah reigneth: The world also is established that it cannot be moved: He will judge the peoples with equity. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof; Let the field exult, and all that is therein; Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy before Jehovah; For he cometh, For he cometh to judge the earth: He will judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with his truth.”
Psalm 96 (ASV)
The art of gratefulness is easily lost in this day. Thank you notes are a forgotten nicety and many peo-ple do not bother to show that they are thankful to their neighbor for the nice things they do. Even worse, however, is that we do not show the Lord God Almighty the praise and glory He is due for all He has done. It is hard to see the joy and live joyfully in a world that is filled with hatred, violence, greed and lust. Yet the whole creation sings of God’s majesty, even the lives of non-believers show His mercy and grace. But those of us who are Christians, who know the depth of God’s love and the peace that comes from knowing Him, are blessed to be living sacrifices for our Lord. Out of our lives flow the living waters that bring salvation to the world. It is in joy to be able to sing to the Lord that new song, the song of praise and thanksgiving for all He has done. Today, let us join together with all of creation and sing His praise. Glorify Him with every thought, word and deed, for He is worthy of praise! Thanks be to God.