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The First Thanksgiving – Noah

November 15, 2010

With Thanksgiving day looming largely over the horizon, we can’t help but reflect on the pilgrims who paved the way for the traditions we hold near and dear to our hearts. But the pilgrims weren’t the first ones to step foot on land with thankful hearts and joyous feasts. After over a year on the Ark, Noah and his family finally exited the massive boat and stepped on dry ground.

In Genesis 8:1 the Bible says, “But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.”

There’s a special sense of significance in knowing we have never escaped the mind of God, but when you’ve been sealed in a boat for over a year, you can grow weary in the wait and lose sight of what God has called you to – what He has promised you. When the Word of God tells us that God remembered Noah, it is a sweet reminder that we may sometimes feel like God doesn’t see us us, or perhaps that He doesn’t care what we are going through, but you can rest in the promise of His abiding presence and His incessant love.

Noah was thankful that God had not forgotten that He had sent him and his family adrift. His heart of thankfulness gave way to worship and he began to sacrifice every sort of animal as a demonstration of his thankful and surrendered heart.

In chapter 9 we find God’s covenant with Noah and the generations that would come after him. Never again would the world be wiped out by a world-wide flood. The rainbow was the sign of His promise to never flood the world again. But I want you to note something very interesting about this wonderful passage of Scripture.

Genesis 9:16 says, “Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

For the first time, God’s promise came with a sign. He would form a rainbow as a perpetual sign to future generations that He would be merciful to a people whose heart have a tendency to be wicked. And not only would we see the sign, but He would see it as well – and it would remind Him of His own promise to the world. God’s mercy is certainly a beautiful reason to be thankful!

The next time you look at a rainbow, remember that your Heavenly Father is looking at it too – and He is remembering His promise to a wayward people. You may even want to cook your own Thanksgiving Dinner every time you see a rainbow peaking out somewhere between the sunshine and the clouds.

What promises has God made that you are thankful for today?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2010 2:45 pm

    I love God’s promise that His mercies are new every morning. Even in the midst of my failures and shortcomings, He is kind enough to give me a new start daily and to refresh the store of His mercy in my life. What a beautiful pattern in scripture to see that people who follow God take time to stop and acknowledge God’s provision and protection in their lives. It’s a great pattern to follow.

  2. November 21, 2010 11:29 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to call our attention back to Noah’s journey as an example of thankfulness!

    One phrase that struck me the most: “His heart of thankfulness gave way to worship…” That is such an important observation to note. Having a heart full of gratitude almost has to lead to worship! When we are thankful and intentionally express gratitude, then we that authentic expression becomes worship (revering and honoring) He who gives so abundantly!

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