Shabbat Shalom family,
Tehillim/Psalm 136:1-3 “Give thanks to יהוה, for He is good! For His kindness is everlasting. 2 Give thanks to the Elohim of mighty ones! For His kindness is everlasting. 3 Give thanks to the Master of masters! For His kindness is everlasting”
Give thanks to יהוה – a phrase found often in Scripture, yet what we must take note of is that this term carries a deeper meaning than just words from our lips. The Hebrew root word used for ‘give thanks’ is יָדָה ‘yadah’ – Strong’s H3034 and literally means ‘to throw, shoot or cast, to confess, laud with praise, extol, i.e., make a public confession of the attributes and acts of power of a person’ and comes from the word Strong’s H3027 יָד ‘yad’ which means ‘hand’ and so the expression of giving thanks is understood in the Hebrew as ‘extending the hands in praise’ – that is why Sha’ul tells us in Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 2:8 that men everywhere should lift up their hands that are set-apart in prayer – our expression of giving thanks with the extended hands that are set-apart is in our willing obedience to working unto Elohim (extending the hand) in all we do – and at the same time giving Him esteem and praise – Giving thanks is not a silent matter and it must be seen in our work ethic too as our actions often may speak louder than words!
In fact there are two Greek words that are also translated as ‘giving thanks’:
1 – εὐχαριστέω eucharisteō – Strong’s G2168 which means, ‘give thanks, be thankful’ and comes from the word εὐχάριστος eucharistos – Strong’s G2170 meaning, ‘thankful’ which is made up of two words: 1 – εὖ eu – Strong’s G2095 which is an adverb meaning, ‘good, well done’ and 2 – χαρίζομαι charizomai – Strong’s G5483 meaning, ‘forgive, deliver, to show favour, give freely’ from the primitive root word χάρις charis – Strong’s G5485 meaning, ‘grace, favour, kindness’.
Why I am sharing all these words here is simply for the fact that we can clearly see that our giving thanks to Elohim is a surrendered response of obedience to His perfect will for our lives as we acknowledge and accept that which He has freely given us in Messiah – to walk in His ways and forsake all sin!
2 – ἐξομολογέω exomologeō – Strong’s G1843 which means, ‘to agree, confess, give praise, give thanks’ and comes from two words: 1 – ἐκ ek – Strong’s G1537 which means, ‘from, from out of’ and is used as a preposition denoting the origin or point from where the action proceeds; and 2 – ὁμολογέω homologeō – Strong’s G3670 and means ‘to acknowledge, admit, to confess, i.e. to admit or declare one’s self guilty of what one is accused of’ and also means ‘to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with’. Therefore to “confess” in essence means that it is more than just admitting you were wrong – to confess means that you say what יהוה says!
This word ἐξομολογέω exomologeō is the word used in the Septuagint (Greek Translation of the Tanak (O.T)) as the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew יָדָה ‘yadah’ . What we certainly see from this is that to ‘give thanks to יהוה’ means so much more than what the English word ‘thanks’ is able to describe, which is defined in English as, ‘an expression of gratitude’! Ok – that is fine – but how do you express??? It is so much more than simply saying ‘thanks’!!!
In a message tonight called, “HOW ARE YOU GIVING THANKS?”, please turn with me to Tehillim/Psalm 105:1-7 (Read).
Verse 1-15 of this Tehillim forms part of the song by which Dawiḏ gave thanks by the hand of Asaph and his brothers whom Dawiḏ had appointed to serve before the ark of יהוה, to bring to remembrance, and to thank, and to praise יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl; which can be found in Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 16, as this song of remembrance, thanksgiving and praise was sung at the return of the Ark of יהוה which Dawiḏ brought back and set in the tent that he had pitched for it, and after he had offered up burnt and peace offerings to יהוה and blessed the people in the Name of יהוה and gave everyone in Yisra’ĕl bread and raisins.
The song that was sung that day also contains the majority of Tehillim/Psalm 96 and ends with 3 verses from Tehillim/Psalm 106 (verse 1, 47 & 48). The Ark of יהוה had been brought back and a very powerful song of thanksgiving was sung – a song that calls for an active response and not simply lip service alone!
True thanksgiving enables an urgency to earnestly seek יהוה and do His good and pleasing will!
These first 7 verses in Tehillim/Psalm 105 is an invitation to engage in proper thanksgiving and praise that ought to make a clear and definite sound far and wide among the nations – if in fact we are responding correctly and truly giving thanks as we should!
Dawiḏ, in beginning with the call to ‘give thanks to יהוה’, is making it very clear that the beginning of thanksgiving can only begin when true repentance is taking place, and by ‘giving thanks to יהוה’ in the truest sense, carries the understanding that your confession and acknowledgement of who He is, is real and that you have turned from all wickedness and turned back to the True giver and source of life, choosing to walk in His ways! Turning away from lawlessness and sin, to Him who has called you out of darkness, begins a life of thanksgiving that must continue daily.
As we can see in this first verse that together with giving thanks to יהוה there is the call to ‘call upon His Name’; and the word for ‘call’ here is קָרָא qara – Strong’s H7121 which means, ‘to call, utter a loud sound, proclaim, read aloud, cry for help’. True thanksgiving recognises the need for help and there is only One name that saves:
Yo’ĕl/Joel 2:32 “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the Name of יהוה shall be delivered. For on Mount Tsiyon and in Yerushalayim there shall be an escape as יהוה has said, and among the survivors whom יהוה calls.”
Sha’ul quotes this verse in:
Romiyim/Romans 10:13 “For “everyone who calls on the Name of יהוה shall be saved.””
Abraham called on the Name of יהוה (Berěshith/Genesis 12:8; 13:4; 21:33); Yitsḥaq called on the Name of יהוה (Berěshith/Genesis 26:25); Eliyahu called on the Name of יהוה at the showdown on Mount Karmel with the Ba’al prophets (Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 18). All through Scripture we see the clear call for us to call upon the Name of יהוה, as we respond in faith to His clear voice calling us out of darkness:
Tehillim/Psalm 86:5 “For You, יהוה, are good, and ready to forgive, and great in kindness to all those who call upon You.”
Giving thanks and calling on יהוה through repentance and confession is what is being called for and as it says in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
The word used here for ‘confess’ is ὁμολογέω homologeō – Strong’s G3670 – the word we have already discussed that makes up the word ἐξομολογέω exomologeō which is used in the Septuagint for the Hebrew word יָדָה ‘yadah’.
The word יָדָה ‘yadah’ is used again in verse one, which has been translated as ‘make known’ or ‘declare’. What we see here is that the process of giving thanks involves repentance and a turning away from lawlessness and turning back to יהוה, calling on His Name and then making the good confession of our belief to all, as seen in our words and walk!
“Make known” among the people!!! How are you doing at that?
Tehillim/Psalm 18:49 “Therefore I give thanks to You, O יהוה, among nations, and I sing praise to Your Name”
If the truth of His deliverance that He has worked for you has become a living reality that has caused you to turn away from lies and traditions then the natural response ought to be one of proclaiming His Truth and the need for a people to be calling on His Name! The true response to what He has wrought for you ought to be one of urgency in telling everyone out there! I ask you again – “how are you giving thanks?” – Has true thanksgiving stirred you to go and tell others what they need and are you urgent and bold about it? If you are giving thanks to יהוה then you should be!!!
His Name reveals His attributes toward man, as the root meaning of His Name declares that the He is the One who causes me to be – He gives me my breath and my life – so when I call on His Name I am declaring the One – the I AM – The Aleph and the Taw – who gives me life and causes me to be; and while I was dead in my sin – calling upon the Name of יהוה – the Great I AM forgives me, cleanses me by His Blood and gives me everlasting, abundant life!!! That in itself ought to stir me to get the Besorah out and proclaim what He has done – stirring up the need for true thanksgiving among the peoples!
Having established what true thanksgiving involves, we can also see clearly from this powerful song what transpires from true thanksgiving or what the natural progression of thanksgiving entails in its entirety:
Verses 2-5 Dawiḏ goes and instructs us in thanksgiving by telling us what we are to do by listing 8 more attributes of a true giver of thanks. What we need to understand is that the return of the Ark inspired a great call to repentance and pure praise and worship – the same inspiration is needed again today – and we who have the presence of יהוה ought to be doing this, inspiring others to follow as they see the true joy of a thankful heart!
Let us look at these 8 powerful words or attributes of a true giver of thanks and then allow the mirror of His Word to answer the question, “How are you giving thanks?”
1 – Sing – שִׁיר shir – Strong’s H7891 and simply means ‘sing’ meaning to use one’s voice as an instrument to sing musical tones, rhythms, and often words. Using our voice to sing to יהוה is an attribute of giving thanks or rather that which should flow from giving thanks. So many people are too shy to sing, yet we should not worry what others may think of our voice as we sing to the One who causes us to be – He loves to hear you sing!
2 – Sing Praise – זָמַר zamar – Strong’s H2167 meaning, ‘to make music (in praise of Elohim), sing praises’. This word carries with it the idea of ‘striking with the fingers’, and more properly meaning ‘to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument’. This praise goes further than just the voice, but carries the clear picture of making music or singing with the aid of instruments! In Tehillim/Psalms 149:3 we see ‘zamar’ being translated as ‘sing praises’ or in other translations as ‘make melody’, and that is with tambourine and harp. What a joy it is to have the gift of ‘zamar’ praise happening here in our midst as יהוה continues to inspire Marcia to produce such wonderful songs in praise unto our Elohim – together with the ‘striking of the fingers’!
We may not all be able to ‘strike with the fingers’ an instrument like Marcia, but we certainly can join as a family together in singing praises as she leads us with zamar singing, causing us to join together in making that joyful praise of song with instruments unto יהוה. And we can all certainly ‘clap our hands’ and make music to Elohim!
3 – Speak – שִׂיחַ siaḥ – Strong’s H7878 means, ‘talk, speak, meditate’. We are to open up our mouths and speak the Truth! However to be able to speak the Truth you have to know the Truth and know what you are proclaiming; and one’s ability to speak Truth only gets better by meditating on the Word day and night! If you are not meditating on His Word daily how do you think you will be able to speak it???
Tehillim/Psalm 77:12 “And I shall meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.”
With these first 3 attributes of a true giver of thanks we can see what Sha’ul meant in:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:17-21 “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the desire of יהוה is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is loose behaviour, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to each other in psalms and songs of praise and spiritual songs, singing and striking the strings in your heart to the Master, 20 giving thanks always for all to Elohim the Father, in the Name of our Master יהושע Messiah, 21 subjecting yourselves to each other in the fear of Elohim.”
4 – Boast – הָלַל halal – Strong’s H1984 which means, ‘to shine; to be boastful; to be clear; to make a show; to rave; be foolish; to celebrate; praise, cheer, brag or extol, i.e., extol the greatness or excellence of a person, object or event.’ Make your boast in His set-apart Name!!!
We are to praise His Name, extol His name, make known His Name and revere His Name. His Name reveals His Character and we in our actions are to display His very character being shaped and formed in us –
Therefore our confession must line up with our deeds. Far too many are simply giving lip service while their hearts are far from Him and therefore bring His Name to nought! Our boasting is not in self but in Him and His set-apart Name. His Name is set-apart – above all names and titles and therefore we cannot bring down His Name to the level or form of a common title or any other name with other forms of association!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Thus said יהוה, “Let not the wise boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty boast in his might, nor let the rich boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am יהוה, doing kindness, right-ruling, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” declares יהוה.”
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 10:17 “But “He who boasts, let him boast in יהוה.””
5 – Rejoice – שָׂמַח samaḥ – Strong’s H8055 and means, ‘to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, delight in and be elated’. A derivative of this word is שָׂמֵחַ ‘sameaḥ’- Strong’s H8056 and carries the same meaning as well as implying ‘to be merry’. Both of these words are used in the command to rejoice in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:14 & 15.
The word ‘samaḥ’ can also carry the meaning ‘to brighten up’, giving us the picture how we are to carry His joy as the light of the world and let praise and rejoicing abound!
6 – Seek (1) – בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245 which means, ‘to seek, aim, search, look, inquire’, and it is written in the ‘piel’ form which expresses an intensive or intentional action and could therefore be expressed as, ‘seek earnestly or seek the face, seek to find, demand, desire, ask’, and this kind of ‘seeking’ is an intense seeking with a purpose!
Now I just want to make it clear that יהוה is by no means lost in any way – it is us who were lost through sin and lawlessness and so we earnestly seek Him while He is to be found, as we seek to please Him and walk in His Truth.
Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 2:3 “Seek יהוה, all you meek ones of the earth, who have done His right-ruling. Seek righteousness, seek meekness, if so be that you are hidden in the day of wrath of יהוה.”
7 – Seek (2) – דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875 means, ‘to resort to, seek out, ask, avenge, consult, investigate, search carefully, make inquiry, question’. Now when we see that this word carries more than simply just take a quick peek, but rather emphasises the need to be digging deep in seeking out carefully and with great diligence, through consultation, and asking. When we are told to ‘seek’ first the Kingdom – we must recognise that this is not an instruction that gives the notion that you look at it and now that you have seen it you can go on your merry way – NO! To seek His Kingdom requires hard work and discipline each and every day. Here we are being clearly instructed to ‘seek’ יהוה and His strength. We need to ‘seek’ Him and this implies an inquiry after knowledge, advice, and insight into any situation or circumstance we find ourselves in.
A word that is derived from דָּרַשׁ darash is מִדְרָשׁ midrash – Strong’s H4097 means, ‘a study, record, writings or story, commentary’. A ‘midrash’ speaks of the ability to search out something and often refers to that which is written to teach, and later became known as a Hebrew word relating to the in-depth study of the word, often done together. The point is that we are to be a people who are earnestly growing in wisdom and understanding of the Scriptures so we can remember what we look like when we look intently into the mirror of His Word!
Ěḵah/Lamentations 3:25 “יהוה is good to those waiting for Him, to the being who seeks Him.”
We are to be seeking His face always:
Tehillim/Psalm 27:8 “To my heart You have said, “Seek My face.” Your face, יהוה, I seek.”
8 – Remember – זָכַר zakar – Strong’s H2142 which means ‘to remember, or be mindful, or bring to remembrance’; The true givers of thanks will be mindful and remember the Covenant and walk in the Torah of יהוה, as we remember His wonders which He has done. A word derived from this for ‘remembrance’ is זִכָּרוֹן ‘zikkaron’- Strong’s H2146 meaning ‘memorial, commemoration or remembrance’; and as we know we are commanded to have a remembrance on Yom Teruah – a remembrance of the Trumpet blast or shout!
We are to remember His wondrous works, His miracles and His right-rulings! The word used for ‘miracles’ means ‘signs, wonders’ and these we do remember – how He delivered Yisra’ĕl from Mitsrayim through great signs and wonders and His marvellous deliverance that He has brought! We can remember His signs and wonders and do not need to look to the ‘signs and wonders’ that many wicked and adulterous seek today!
When we remember His works, we are greatly encouraged to the sure promise of His return and therefore do not need other signs and wonders to determine our faith – yet as we go out, giving thanks and proclaiming His Name, יהושע Messiah tells us in:
Marqos/Mark 16:17-18 “And these signs shall accompany the ones who believe: In My Name they shall cast out demons, they shall speak with renewed tongues, 18 they shall take up snakes, and if they drink any deadly drink it shall by no means hurt them, they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall get well.”
This clear call given in this song by Dawiḏ is to us, the called out, chosen, set-apart and royal priesthood of Elohim:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.”
יהוה is our Elohim and His right-rulings are in all the earth, now let us give Him proper pure and undefiled thanks!
How are you giving thanks? As we have considered some very powerful words and attributes of a true giver of thanks, how do you measure up against the mirror of these Truths presented before you? Is there some fine tuning or a major service that is needed in your giving thanks unto Our Master, Redeemer and King – יהוה of Hosts.
By the Blood of Messiah we have been grafted into that which we were once far from – His Covenants of Promise – will you be as Dawiḏ was – A true giver of thanks as יהוה, by His Spirit, rebuilds the Booth of Dawiḏ which has fallen down!
Giving thanks to יהוה involves your entire life – can you give Him thanks – How are you giving thanks?
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you, and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face upon you, and give you peace.