Bible Lens—Thanksgiving 2017

Subject: Thanksgiving

First appeared as a Web Original on September 25, 2017

We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come.

Revelation 11:17

Exploring Bible Verses

An exploration of Bible citations from the Christian Science Quarterly® Bible Lessons

“. . . a lesson on which the prosperity of Christian Science largely depends."—Mary Baker Eddy

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from the Golden Text

Revelation 11:17

We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

The promise of the coming of the Lord appears several times in the book of Revelation (see also 1:4, 1:8, and 4:8). In most ancient manuscripts, the phrase “and art to come” is not included in this verse. Some commentators see this omission as emphasizing the presence of God’s reign now.

from the Responsive Reading

Isaiah 25:1, 4

O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.… For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. 

The book of Isaiah is filled with divine promises and warnings from God to the people, as well as pleas to God for help. The outpouring of praise to Him in verses 1–4 is reminiscent of many psalms (see 118:28, for example) and is apparently impelled by God’s destruction of an unnamed city (see verse 2). 

The “terrible ones” is variously translated as brutal enemies, ruthless or cruel people, and the violent. Many scholars have understood this term to refer to human evildoers. Others expand the interpretation to include the devices of impersonal evil.

I Chronicles 29:11 

Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. 

These words are part of David’s farewell address to his subjects at the end of his reign. Preceding verses detail the impressive preparations for the building of the Temple made by him and the people, but David’s heartfelt praise gives God the entire glory. His final words are, “Now bless the Lord your God” (verse 20).

from Section 1

4 | Psalms 92:1 

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.

​In Jewish worship, thanksgiving to God was inseparable from glorifying and honoring Him. In fact, no independent word for thanks exists in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word often translated thanks or thanksgiving (yadah) actually means to praise, laud, and revere.

One source says, “The expression of thanks to God is included in praise; it is a way of praising.” Another writes, “Thanksgiving follows praise, for when one declares God’s attributes and works, he cannot help but be thankful. Praise leads regularly to thanksgiving.”

from Section 2

10 | Matthew 6:31–33

Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? … for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 

God’s all-knowing nature is shown here to be the basis for His supplying of human needs—His omniscience is the source of divine provision. To seek the righteousness of God is to embrace the very essence of His kingdom; to seek it first is to place it above everything else, not as much in chronology as in esteem and priority.

from Section 4

15 | Ephesians 1:6 

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 

“The beloved” refers to Christ, rendering the meaning of this final phrase “accepted in Christ.” Kharitō, the Greek word translated “made us accepted,” occurs just one other place in the Bible—in Luke 1:28, in the angel’s greeting to Jesus’ mother, Mary: “Hail, thou that art highly favored [kharitō].”

Resources quoted in this issue

Cit. 4: Harris, R. Laird, Gleason L. Archer, Bruce K. Waltke. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody, 1980; Westermann, Claus. The Praise of God in the Psalms. Richmond: John Knox Press, 1965

Related Healing Ideas

Mary Baker Eddy’s thanks

I just want to say, I thank you, my dear students, who are at work conscientiously and assiduously, for the good you are doing. I am grateful to you for giving to the sick relief from pain; for giving joy to the suffering and hope to the disconsolate; for lifting the fallen and strengthening the weak, and encouraging the heart grown faint with hope deferred. We are made glad by the divine Love which looseth the chains of sickness and sin, opening the prison doors to such as are bound; ….

Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 262

© 2017 The Christian Science Publishing Society. The design of the Cross and Crown is a trademark owned by the Christian Science Board of Directors and is used by permission. Bible Lens and Christian Science Quarterly are trademarks owned by The Christian Science Publishing Society. Unless otherwise indicated, all scriptural quotations are taken from the King James Version on the Holy Bible.

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November 20, 2017

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