Thankfulness Follows God’s Goodness – November 2017
Jacob had done a great deal of wrong in his life. And it started even before he had gotten his first gasp of
air in this world. While his older twin brother Esau was being born, Jacob was tripping him up by grasping at
Esau’s heel. Later on in life he once again attempted to trip up and deceive his brother by sneakily stealing away
his older brother’s birthright and blessing. His deception even wouldn’t stop with his own father Isaac, as Jacob
tricked his father into given him the rights of the firstborn by making himself appear to be Esau. Upon escaping his
home because of Esau’s anger toward him, Jacob went to live with his Uncle Laban for twenty years. There his
deceptions continued, as he fleeced his uncle to have a massive portion of the flock.
Jacob was a snake. He was tricky, deceitful, conniving. He was the slick car salesman that you want to
avoid at all costs. And yet he was richly blessed. But not because he had been a shrewd businessman or conned
just the right people just the right amount. Jacob was richly blessed because of his God. Listen in on some of his
prayer to God when Jacob left his uncle’s house and headed off for a meeting with Esau, the first time he would
see his twin in twenty years.
“I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when
I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two groups” (Genesis 32:10). Notice a few things about Jacob’s
- He says he was unworthy. Perhaps as he looked back at his life those sinful moments really stood out.
Maybe he thought about how God could have blessed anybody else, but he chose Jacob. No matter
what, Jacob was experiencing God’s mercy.
- He points to God’s kindness and faithfulness. His first concern is not his large flocks, his huge family,
or his great wealth. Jacob recalls how God promised him and then fulfilled his promises. God’s grace
shined on Jacob and God never wavered from his plan for this man.
- Jacob acknowledges that he is simply God’s servant. His life is not about serving his own best
interests. Whether rich or poor, whether up or down, whether good or bad, God’s people remember
their place in his kingdom. He’s the King; we are his servants privileged to live for him and his glory.
- Jacob notes the difference in amount of belongings from when he crossed the river Jordan twenty
years earlier compared to his present time. He knows God’s hand was at work to bring about that
huge difference. Everything Jacob had was the Lord’s and because of the Lord.
With Thanksgiving Day approaching, it is always a good reminder to include thanksgiving into our daily
prayers and thoughts. If we aren’t already doing that is it because we have failed to consider how we are
unworthy? Have we forgotten all the benefits and blessings God has given to us? Do we see ourselves more as
masters of our lives rather than servants in God’s kingdom? Do we think what we have is due to our strength, our
wisdom, our determination, and our effort? No wonder we don’t give thanks to God.
Find some time each day to reflect on God’s goodness to you, especially in the forgiving love he has
shown you in Christ Jesus. Mull over it with coffee steam wafting up to your face. Think about it at a red light. Do
it in a family dinner. Dwell on it as your head hits the pillow. And you will find that the more you think about God’s
goodness to you, the more thanksgiving will flow pass your lips, and the less complaining but more thankful living
you will experience.
Happy Thanksgiving! Join us this year as we gather for a special Thanksgiving Eve Service on Wednesday,
November 22 at 7:00pm.