A Thanksgiving Day celebration poses one of those difficult dilemmas. Before digging in to the turkey dinner, a well-meaning relative usually asks the question, “And what are you thankful for this year?” Most people automatically head for the old standby answers–family, friends, health, etc.
As I contemplated that question this year, I came across Psalm 113 which states that we should praise God (verses 1-3) for his greatness (4-6) and his grace (7-9). On Thanksgiving Day, and every other day of the year, we should give thanks for who God is and for what he has done in our lives.
The psalm begins and ends with the instruction, “Praise the Lord.” As the psalmist explains, those of us who serve God have the first responsibility to praise him (verse 1). Since God’s name reveals his character, we should give thanks for who he is. While Thanksgiving Day is a great time to praise God, our praise should not be limited to only that day. In fact, there should not be a day or time when we do not give thanks (verse 2b-3).
In verses 4-6, the psalmist explains that we should praise God for who he is. We should give thanks for his greatness. He is greater than the nations. He is greater than the creation (4). Verses 5-6 summarize the main idea of this psalm. While God is exalted over all, he cares about people and meets them right at their point of need.
In verses 7-9, the writer gives two examples of how God demonstrates his grace. He lifts up the poor (7-8) and gives children to the childless (8-9). God does marvelous and mighty deeds for those in need and distress.
In terms of literary devices, the psalmist uses a parallel structure in verses 4-6 and 7-9. God is exalted (4). He exalts the poor (7). God is seated in the heavens (5). He seats the poor among the powerful (8). God stoops down to serve (6). He meets the lowly at their point of need (9).
If you run out of things to give thanks for tomorrow, start praising God for who he is and what he has done in your life. PRAISE THE LORD!