Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord! (Psalm 33: 12)
אשרי הגוי אשר־יהוה
By Christine Darg, Jerusalem Channel
Although I have lived overseas now more than half of my lifetime, I have always enjoyed coming back to the USA for the national holiday called Thanksgiving. The American writer O. Henry once said, “There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American.”
We have enjoyed celebrating Thanksgiving many times in Israel, and also while visiting other nations we’ve noticed that many international hotels honour the fourth Thursday in November with special slap-up meals to emulate our American feast. (Can you imagine the original Thanksgiving lasted for three days? Now one day of feasting is more than enough!)
Thanksgiving, was the first national holiday created as an official day of prayer for the American People. I found this wonderful link that explains a lot of the background and reveals the kind of spiritual leadership this nation once enjoyed.
Two nights prior to Thanksgiving, my husband and I were seated with British and Israeli officials at the 66th annual dinner of the Anglo-Israel Association. Inevitably dinner conversation turned to the troubles in the Mideast. One of the guests mentioned the fact that the Pope recently said it is a blasphemy for terrorists to murder in the name of God. But I said, “With respect, the Pope needs to differentiate between gods. The god that the Muslim fanatics extoll as the ‘greater one’ as they murder and maim is not the God of Israel.”
The nations that have known the God of Israel are truly the nations that have most blessed the world. My prayer for America this day is that we will continue to know the God of Israel and say in HIM we will trust.
Today on this Thanksgiving Day, let us:
1. THANK the LORD because of his goodness. He has singularly blessed our nations and continues like a Shepherd to watch over us in the midst of our enemies. May we humble ourselves this day in his Presence according to Psalms 50:23 (ESV), “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”
2. THANK the LORD because of His wisdom; the government is upon his shoulders and he has set his Messiah on his holy hill in Jerusalem, which will soon welcome the Returning King.
3. THANK the LORD for His mighty power. The nations are raging (Psalm 2) but he is in control. He is allowing entire borders to be trashed but he will intervene to save Egypt, Israel and Assyria (Isaiah 19: 25) They will all know the LORD.
4. THANK the LORD for families. Many make dark jokes this time of year about having to endure the company “loved ones” for the day. But on this day I give special thanks for the heritage of my godly parents and memories of Thanksgiving Day with them, for my husband and our children. Our son David Darg is vice president of the humanitarian group Operation Blessing. Columnist Mark Steyn’s assessment of American “goodness” and service to others:
“When something terrible and destructive happens – a tsunami hits Indonesia, an earthquake devastates Pakistan – the US can project itself anywhere on the planet within hours and start saving lives, setting up hospitals and restoring the water supply. Aside from Britain and France, the Europeans cannot project power in any meaningful way anywhere… If America were to follow the Europeans and maintain only a shriveled attenuated residual military capacity, the world would very quickly be nastier and bloodier, and far more unstable. It’s not just Americans and Iraqis and Afghans who owe a debt of thanks to the US soldier but all the Europeans grown plump and prosperous in a globalized economy guaranteed by the most benign hegemon in history.”
On the radio, Hugh Hewitt asked Steyn about American humanitarianism:
HH: I was struck, has any other empire ever done so much for, with so little expectation in return?
MS: … they just give to the world. They give to the world. Who is it, when the tsunami strikes, who is it who comes in and restores the water supply? It’s an American task force. The U.N. will accept your checks. People in Ireland, people in Norway, wrote plenty of checks when the tsunami struck. But the people who get there on the ground and save lives, and provide shelter, and restore the water supply, are the Americans and a few other countries. It’s a very select group… ”
And part of that select group is tiny Israel. No other nation of its size helps so many others when disaster strikes. And Americans hopefully understand how rare in human history are our blessings.