The Psalms are filled exhortations (encouragement, urging) to be thankful and praise God. We can easily gloss over the ubiquitous examples and urging to give thanks and praise to God and miss the essence and significance of thanksgiving.
We have a holiday set aside for the idea of Thanksgiving, declared a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1963. Significantly, Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday while the Civil War was still raging.
The decades and generations that have passed have dulled our collective memory of the savage reality of the Civil War, the collective anxiety of a nation coming apart at the seams with no certain future. The Civil War divided families and threatened to undo the nation.
The Psalms were penned (many of them) by King David, who reigned at the acme of the Jewish nation. But David’s life was a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Continue reading