Deuteronomy 16 – Thanksgiving

Moses has been reviewing the rules of life and worship; then he speaks of some of the major festival celebrations. I will explain the three celebrations Moses speaks about.

“And you shall offer the Passover sacrifice to the Lord your God, from the flock or the herd, at the place that the Lord will choose, to make his name dwell there. ”

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First, the Passover festival was a special time  to remember the Exodus experience where the ancient Israelites were freed from the hands of Pharaoh in Egypt. I think God’s intention for this celebration was to remind them where they came from so that they would have a deeper appreciation of God and acceptance of His provision for their future. This reminds me of Ephesians 2:11: “Therefore, do not forget that formerly you were Gentiles.” It’s a warning for us that, when God blesses us spiritually and gives us the knowledge of truth, we don’t become prideful and look down on others, but that we remember our worst moments, as a slave in Egypt (sin), from which Jesus saved us through His grace, without any merits on our side.

Give Thanks by Giving Back

Second, the Feast of Weeks was a time to express thanksgiving to God for the beginning of the wheat harvest in the spring. How thankful are we as the year comes to an end? In just a few days the year is over. Do we still remember the things He blessed us with in the beginning of the year?

Third, the Feast of the Tabernacles or the Feast of Booths came at the end of the harvest season in the fall. It was the greatest celebration of thanksgiving to God. Thanksgiving is coming up and many are making plans to be with their loved ones to celebrate a day of thanksgiving. We have a whole day dedicated to thanksgiving, but think about how much more enriching our lives would be if we were thankful and expressive about our gratitude more often?

Within this chapter God through Moses repeats several times the word “remember” and to come with freewill offerings in “your hand” which reflect how God has blessed you. Therefore, it’s only by generous giving to God and to those people in need that we can remove our tendency to be self-centered.

“Lord, help me give generously to you and to those in need.”

-Alejandra Zepeda

Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.


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