In our pre-Christian days, some of us used to serve idols. Idol worship is very simple: you give to the idols your worship in exchange for favors given back to you. It is an even exchange, you serve them and they will help you. If the idol you serve does not keep its part of the bargain, you are then free to choose some others. This is the world of idol worship, selfish and motivated by what you could gain. Have you had such an experience?
Many have since turned to the Lord but they still keep their former ways of worship. They worship God as if they were worshipping idols. Now they would do something for God in exchange for God doing something for them. Just like we give gifts to others to obligate their future service and help, we give to God as to demand more from Him in helps and gifts. We obligate God, send Him help in order to receive from Him later.
The psalmist points out the illogical side of this type of relationship. God does not need us, we are His creation, He owns us as well as everything in this world. He even owns every beast of the forest and the cattle on a thousand hills. All the birds and everything that moves in the field belong to Him. We cannot give to Him first and expect Him to repay us later. This thought is absurd. We cannot obligate God into doing something for us. All we have received from Him comes in the form of gifts that are undeserved.
Many of our “service” or “ministry” to the Lord are done with such an expectation. The only fitting thing to do is to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Moses had done great things for God but yet he did not take that for granted. He did not protest when God forbade him to go into the Promised Land. He was thankful and had not expectation on God. His blessing of the twelve tribes is so different from the blessings of Israel. He knew what he had done for God was his own duty and obligation and was not something he could blackmail God with.
A thankful person is one who knows his place in the Kingdom of God. Thankfulness is contentment and resting in God, not demanding Him to do what you want Him to do. A bitter person is one who is just the opposite. He would want God to do what he has demanded since he had given to the Lord in the first place. As a result, he is bitter and angry at what he cannot get from the Lord.
Are you a thankful person, giving sacrifices of thanksgiving to God? Make thanksgiving a part of your daily routine. What are some thanksgiving sacrifices you would want to give God today?
Ps 50:7-23 Deut 33:1-29 Luke 13:1-21 Prov 12:25