“…be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take you oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God…” Deut 6:12-15

As I have been reflecting on Thanksgiving this year, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be thankful, to be truly thankful.  Thankfulness is not possible without remembrance.  An individual cannot be thankful unless they can remember the past and recognize the blessings that have been bestowed upon them.  With that I have been thinking about the Israelites and how God brought them out of slavery and delivered them to the Promised Land.  Over and over again, God admonishes the Israelites that they must not forget the LORD their God and how he delivered them from slavery and brought them out of Egypt.  As we will gather around our overflowing tables tomorrow and thank God for his blessings (blessings we do not deserve);  remember to be thankful not just for the food, but for what God has done in your life!

Thankfulness is not just individual, it is communal. God commanded the Israelites to remember what the LORD had done for them and to tell their children about it:

“In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees, and laws, the LORD our God has commanded you?”  Tell him,  “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt , but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Before our eyes the LORD sent miraculous signs and wonders-great and terrible-upon Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household.  But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers.  The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.  And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”  Deut 6:20-25

For those of us who are Christians, we all know how the Lord led us out of our own “Egypt” and how he has brought us into his protection and love.  It is good to remember the good things God has done for us!  Let us reflect on these things tomorrow and everyday so that we do not lose sight of the LORD our God and his decrees!   Thanksgiving is a great day for national thanksgiving and reflection, but in the hearts of Christians, we need to always be giving thanks to the Lord for rescuing us from slavery and bringing us into a good land!  Deuteronomy is full of reminders of how we must not forget our God and what he has done for Israel and for us!  Read: Deut 6:1-9; 8:1-20; 11:1-7; 20:1.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!