Category: 11_2023-3



By Eric Carlson in 11_2023-3 on November 1, 2023

Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude to God for sustaining the early settlers and was originally celebrated in October until the start of the 20th century. The original celebration was a rare time of unity between colonists and the First Nations people as they celebrated together. The colonists would have not survived without the help of the natives who introduced them to life sustaining corn which is a vegetable exclusive to the America’s (Maze) and didn’t exist outside of the western hemisphere (the America’s) until the colonists shipped some back to England in 1609.

The traditional “first Thanksgiving” is the celebration that occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621. The Plymouth celebration occurred early in the history of what would become one of the original thirteen colonies that became the United States. However, there was another, more modest Thanksgiving at Berkley Plantation, Virginia on the banks of the James River in 1619, two years before the Pilgrims even landed at Plymouth. The celebration became an important part of the American history by the 1800s. Thanksgiving was modeled after the biblical celebration of Sukkot when Israel thanks God for sustenance and provision in the desert wonderings.

Thanksgiving as we celebrate it today is one of copious amounts of food: Turkey, stuffing, vegetables, gravies, and numerous pies and is centered around Family! Thanksgiving is the most travelled holiday in America, families reunite and come together and for some it’s the only time of the year they do so. Thanksgiving is also extremely biblical, not the holiday, but the act. It is a heartfelt response to God when we look past our blessings to the source of the blessing.

Psalm 50:14. Offer thanksgiving (towdah {to-daw’}: to give thanks, laud, praise, to confess, give praise to God, songs of liturgical worship in the Psalms, hymn of praise, thanks offering, sacrifice of thanksgiving) as your sacrifice (Z’vach: to slaughter, kill, to sacrifice) to God, pay your vows (neder {neh’-der}: vow, offering, promise) to the Most High,

“Thanksgiving” – (todah) is an extension of the hands, avowal, adoration, a Kehillat, a congregation of worshippers offering a sacrifice of praise. Giving thanks for everything that takes place in our lives to the glory of God.

I Thessalonians 5:18. In everything give thanks, for this is what God wants from you who are united with the Messiah Yeshua.

A Thanks, a Toda offering is always accompanied by a sacrifice. A sacrifice must always cost you something, there is always a price or it’s not a sacrifice. Sacrificing is always a difficult thing to do. A sacrifice is something you work hard for, something you honor or desire. To give up something you have no attachment to isn’t a sacrifice. A sacrifice also requires the worshipper to slay their own desires, the pride of flesh, our anger, and most valued of all our human reasoning and logic. Most of the authors who wrote biblical verses of Thanks and Sacrifice had endured persecution, injustice, treachery, slander, and scores of other intolerable situations. David was one of these authors who understood sacrifice:

I Chronicles 21:22-24. Then David said to Ornan, “Let me have the parcel with this threshing-floor, so that I can build on it an altar to ADONAI – I will pay you its full value – so that the plague will be lifted from the people.” 23 Ornan said to David, “Take it for yourself, and let my lord the king do what seems good to him. I’m giving you the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing-sledges for firewood and the wheat for the grain offering – I’m giving it all.” 24 But King David said to Ornan, “No; I insist on buying it from you at the full price. I refuse to take what is yours for ADONAI or offer a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

Thanksgiving with Sacrifice establishes the protocol for entering into His presence! Psalm 100, one of the most well-known Psalms is written specifically about this. Numerous worship songs have been written using this Psalm:

Psalm 100:1. A psalm of thanksgiving: Shout (Ha’ri-u: to shout, raise a sound, cry out, a blast on the Shofar, to shout a war-cry, battle cry, to sound a signal for war, to shout in triumph) for joy to ADONAI, all the earth!

Hari-u L’Adonai Shout joyful to the Lord or Make a Joyful noise to Adonai. The root word of Hari-u is Ru’ah. Ru’ah is found 33 times in the Tanakh. A Ru-a is not just a shout, loud noise, or battle cry. It is the Battle Cry before engaging the enemy. It’s the joyful response to Adonai’s deliverance of His people from danger. There is a mystery hidden here regarding the power of worship! For many people, it’s not the first thing they do, entering into worship when engaging the enemy.

When receiving a bad medical report, when hearing of bad news or confronting a bad situation; releasing a Hari-u L’Adonai, Shouting for Joy unto Adonai is a battle cry to both engage the enemy and celebrating the victory….at the same time! When danger approaches, when we are under attack, when all hope is lost, when facing darkness, trials, and tribulation release the battle cry and the shout of victory! Hari-u L’Adonai, Shouting for Joy to Adonai is your victory shout, the Lord will deliver you! Release your sacrifice of Praise. Shout unto the LORD! Hallelujah!

Psalm 100:2. Serve (Iv’du: to work, serve, to make oneself a servant, to labour, to work for another, serve another by labour, to serve as subjects, to serve God, to serve or minister to God with Levitical service) ADONAI with gladness (Simcah: Joy, Gladness, Mirth, in celebration). Enter his presence with joyful songs (r’nanah {ren-aw-naw’}: singing, root ra’nan is to overcome).

Thanks, and sacrifice are intertwined which brings us back to service. We labour for God, we are to make ourselves His servant, His subject, to serve Him, to Minister to Him as priests! This service is to be done in joy and celebration.

Proverbs 17:22. A happy heart is good medicine, but low spirits sap one’s strength.

If you have no joy in your life something is missing, your life is being sapped, drained away. You are to walk in the strength of the Lord. This is directly connected to the American concept of the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Nehemiah 8:10. Then he said to them, “Go, eat rich food, drink sweet drinks, and send portions to those who can’t provide for themselves; for today is consecrated to our Lord. Don’t be sad, because the joy of ADONAI is your strength (Ma’oz: place or means of safety, protection, refuge, stronghold, place of safety, fastness, harbor, stronghold, refuge of God).”

Psalm 100:2 says to “enter His presence”. We are seeing a pattern here. We come before Adonai with clean hands and a pure heart. We come unto Him with a broken, contrite heart, humbly yet boldly! And we also come before Him, we enter His presence with Simcah r’nana-joyful songs that overcome! If you haven’t caught this yet, there is a major revelation from God here! He wants you joyful before Him! In Simcah, in joy! He wants you to serve Him in gladness and joy, not grumpy and depressed! Adonai wants you to come before Him with joy filled singing! He invites you to come so close that you can see His face and worship Him in Spirit and Truth!

John 4:24. God is spirit; and worshippers must worship him spiritually and truly.”

The reward for those who worship Him in Spirit and Truth is to behold the face, the Paniym of God!

Psalm 100:3-4. Be aware that ADONAI is God; it is he who made us; and we are his, his people, the flock in his pasture. 4 Enter his gates (Sha`ar: an opening, a door, gate to meeting place, a city or town, entrance into a palace, courtyard, camp, temple, or a city. Gates represent jurisdiction, dwelling, strength, power, dominion) with thanksgiving, enter his courtyards with praise; give thanks to him, and bless his name.

We are to be cognizant to the fact that God, Adonai is our creator, He made us and we belong to Him! We are His flock, His children under his care, we are in His pasture, and He is our shepherd. We, His flock, His people are to as the scripture says: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving.”

We are to come into His court, His Temple, His presence, His authority, His jurisdiction, His dominion, His courtyard with praise, with worship! Joyfully! We are to do so with thanks, with a thankful, grateful heart. With an attitude of joy, thankfulness, appreciation, awe, and respect. One cannot enter His gate, His presence with an ungrateful, bitter heart, in depression and scorn. We enter His presence, before His face with joyous, heartfelt thanksgiving unto the Lord. We enter His courtyards with Praise. There are seven specific Hebrew Words for praise:

Halal – Halal means “to be clear, to shine, to boast, show, to rave, celebrate, to be clamorously foolish.” Hallelujah’s root word is halal.

Yadah – From the root yad meaning hand. Yada is an extended hand, worshipping the Lord with extended hands

Todah – Todah comes from the same principle root word as yadah, but is used more specifically. Todah literally means: Thanks, adoration, acceptance.” To thank God for “things not yet received” as well as things already at hand.

Y’Shabach – means, “to shout, to address in a loud tone, to command, to triumph. Too laud, praise, and commend God.

Barakh – means “to kneel down, to bless God as an act of adoration.” B’rakhah is a blessing. It reveals the relationship, the connection between worship, blessing, and kneeling. It is the expectation to receive a blessing from the Lord.”

Zemar – means “to pluck the strings of an instrument, to sing, to praise; a musical word which is largely involved with joyful expressions of music with musical instruments. “To touch the strings” used concordantly with instrumental worship.

Tehillah (Psalms) – is derived from the word halal and means “the singing of halal’s, to sing or to laud; perceived to involve music, especially singing; hymns of the Spirit.

An attitude of Thanksgiving, gratitude is a quality that molds and shapes our lives, it’s a character quality, a fruit of being in Yeshua which we are to be engaged in continuously.

Hebrews 13:15. Through him, therefore, let us offer God a sacrifice of praise continually. For this is the natural product of lips that acknowledge his name.

Once we have properly entered His gates, hearts filled with thanksgiving and joy, our next stop and final destination are his courts, the place where we ultimately stand before our great King.

Psalms 100:5. For ADONAI is good, his grace continues forever, and his faithfulness lasts through all generations.

We must be thankful, grateful to Adonai! We are to confess His greatness, bless Him, and bend our knee before Him! The lord is good (tov), His “chesed”, His grace continues forever! His faithfulness, Emunah, and truth endure forever, in perpetuity, for all generations. Shouting for Joy unto the Lord is a battle cry and a victory cry. It’s what Israel declared with King Jehoshaphat when the defeated Moab and Ammon:

II Chronicles 20:18-22. Y’hoshafat bowed his head with his face to the ground; while all Y’hudah and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim fell down before ADONAI, worshipping ADONAI; 19 and the L’vi’im from the descendants of the K’hati and the descendants of the Korchi, stood up and praised ADONAI the God of Isra’el at the top of their voices. 20 The next morning, they rose early and went out into the T’koa Desert. As they left, Y’hoshafat stood and said, “Listen to me, Y’hudah and you inhabitants of Yerushalayim! “Trust in ADONAI your God, and you will be safe. Trust in his prophets, and you will succeed.” 21 After consulting with the people, he appointed those who would sing to ADONAI and praise the splendor of his holiness as they went out ahead of the army, saying, “Give thanks to ADONAI, for his grace continues forever.” 22 Then, during the time when they were singing and praising, ADONAI brought a surprise attack against the people of ‘Amon, Mo’av and Mount Se’ir who had come to fight Y’hudah; and they were defeated.

As Israel sang Psalm 100:5, thanking God, in both a war cry, a battle cry and a victory song God destroyed their enemies! It’s not happy people who are thankful, its Thankful people are happy! The power of thanksgiving and praise, of entering His courtyards with joyful praise will change your situation; it takes your enemies captive! Hari-u L’Adonai Shout joyfully into whatever situation you’re facing right now…….

Praying you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Rabbi Eric S Carlson