Thanksgiving and Harvest
To the Christian, Thanksgiving is not once a year, but it is a lifestyle. Ps. 92:1 says, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.” In Ps. 107:1, we read, “O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Our Lord is worthy of thanksgiving and praise every day, all day long. Thanksgiving is an expression of gratitude or appreciation to God. The Greek word for “thanksgiving” is “todah,” which means thanks, adoration, and praise. It is derived from the verb “yadah,” which means to give thanks; to praise. The root of “yadah” is “yad,” which means “hand.” Thus, to thank or praise God is “to life or extend one’s hand in thanks to God.
Thanksgiving, as a national celebration, comes from the Old Testament feasts of the “Feast of Pentecost” and the “Feasts of Weeks.” At the first Passover, the blood of a spotless lamb was placed on the doorposts of the Jewish families’ homes. The death angel passed over the households where there was blood. The Passover lamb was symbolic of Jesus, the Lamb of God. His blood in our lives delivers us from eternal death. Fifty days following the Passover is Pentecost. This even was celebrated at the Feast of Pentecost. As we know, 50 days following Jesus’ death and resurrection (Passover) came the Pentecost where the Holy Spirit baptized 120 in His Presence.
The Feast of Pentecost was also 50 days following the offering of first fruits. Remember, Jesus was the “firstborn of many brethren” (i.e. first fruits). Rom. 8:29 & Jn. 12:23-24. The priest took the first fruits of a sheaf of grain and waved it before the Lord in thanksgiving. This action was based on his faith that the rest of the harvest would come in. Pentecost (50 days later) marked the end of the wheat harvest in Israel that came in June. On this day (Pentecost), the priest offered the wave offering which was two loaves of bread as thanksgiving unto the Lord.
We, as children of God are now “kings and priests.” Rev. 1:6. We offer first fruits to God; our tithes and offerings. Let us wave it before God as a thanksgiving for what He has done with an expectation of a full harvest, in Jesus’ Name. Notice, the priests began with waving a sheaf before God in worship and came back in 50 days with two loaves. Thank God for His FULL harvest! Amen!