Thanksgiving and Honor

     When you think of Thanksgiving, what food do you think of? When you think of turkey, what holiday do you think of? When Israel celebrated with palm branches, the people naturally thought of giving thanks, especially when they would think of the Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Booths. 

    4. THANKSGIVING. The fourth virtue in Rev. 7:12 is Thanksgiving and it is the only one that is not also contained in Rev. 5:12. In Greek, it is eucharistia. When we think of the saints being welcomed in to heaven as they are shown in Revelation 7, it is easy to imagine them (and us) as having an attitude of thanksgiving to God. 

     Palm branches reminded the Israelites of their 40 years of wandering in the desert and living under the tabernacles and temporary shelters thatched with palms leaves and branches of trees. 

     The people ushered Christ into Jerusalem, honoring him by laying down their outer garments on the road before Jesus. Imagine the waving of palm branches coinciding with the parade and the shouts of “Hosanna” filling the air.

   That image of praise and thanksgiving is carried forward to Rev. 7:9-13. In heaven, John saw a multitude which no one could number appearing before God. They will be the believers who die during out of the Great Tribulation. 

    It is estimated that half of the world’s remaining population, currently more than 7 billion people, will die in this short intense seven-year period. Just as their white robes are miraculously furnished, the palm branches in their hands would be a natural sign to John and any Jewish reader to symbolize the thanksgiving to God. Jesus described this time in Matthew 24:21 as this: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

    Romans 1:20-23 says, 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” 

    What is generally a cause for a lack of thanksgiving? 

    What causes a spirit of thankfulness?”
     1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 

    How is it possible to give thanks in everything? 

     What is the difference in giving thanks in everything rather than for everything.

    5. HONOR. The fifth godly attribute ascribed to God in Rev. 7:12 is "honor." To honor something is to give it value, or to recognize the value of something. The word used here is sometimes translated as “price,” such as the price or value of land. 

     In the parable of “The Pearl of Great Price,” the word "price" is the same word as is translated in Rev. 7:12 as "honor." The lesson to be learned here in our study is “Do we value God? What is the ‘price’ of God? What is His honor worth to us?” 

     From our perspective, the “Pearl of Great Price” should be about Jesus. However, even if we sold everything we owned to purchase our salvation, we could not do so because our righteousness is like filthy rags before God. The true meaning of this parable is that the Kingdom of God is like God being the merchant, and seeing our lives so valuable to God. 

     1 Cor. 6:20 uses the same word for "honor" found in Revelation 7:12, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. ” 

    In 1 Cor. 7:20, it says, “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” 

     How is the honor we give to God related to the price He paid for us?

    God gave His only begotten Son to purchase us for His Kingdom. We honor and value God because He first valued us with so great a price!

     When Mary extravagantly poured out the spikenard oil to anoint Jesus' feet, some criticized her for her extravagant gift. And yet she did it because she apparently understood what the disciples seemingly missed: that Jesus Himself would soon be buried (See John 12:7, “But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial.”)

     As we look towards this next week being "Holy Week", how do we express that we value and honor God? 

    The price God paid for us was the price of His only begotten Son. What honor should we give back to God in return for our salvation?


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