Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, November 20, 2022
Shavuah Tov,

Thanksgiving – Part 2… What God’s Word Says
by Dr. Raymond Finney

INTRODUCTION: Next Thursday, November 24, is America’s Thanksgiving Day. In last Sunday’s RR, I presented quotations from men and women about this day. Today, I include a sample of Scripture verses about what God’s Word says about the need to give thanks, praise, and worship to others– especially God. The following verses, presented in random order, provide only a sample of Scriptures that could be quoted.

Many quotations could be made just from the Book of Psalms. A psalm is a sacred poem or song, which commonly expresses praise and thanksgiving. Coming to the English language through Anglo-Saxon and French origins from Church Latin and Greek roots, a psalm was sacred music usually accompanied by a stringed instrument– a harp.

PSALM 100:

(1) A psalm of thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to Adonai, all the earth! (2) Serve Adonai with gladness. Come before His presence with joyful singing. (3) Know that Adonai, He is God. It is He who has made us, and we are His. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. (4) Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise! Praise Him, bless His Name. (5) For Adonai is good His lovingkindness endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.


(1) O come, let us sing for joy to Adonai. (2) Let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving. Let us shout joyfully to Him with songs. (3) For Adonai is a great God and a great King above all gods…. (6) Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before Adonai our Maker. (7) For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the flock of His hand….

PSALM 147:

(1) Halleluyah! How good it is to sing praises to our God. How pleasant and fitting is praise. |…| (7) Sing to Adonai with thanksgiving. Sing praises to our God on the harp. (8) He covers the sky with clouds. He provides rain for the earth. He makes grass sprout on the hills. (9) He gives food to the cattle and to the young ravens which cry. (10) He delights not in the horse’s strength, nor takes pleasure in a man’s legs. (11) Adonai delights in those who revere Him, in those who trust in His lovingkindness.


(18) … in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Messiah Yeshua.


(6) Do not be anxious about anything– but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.


(1) Therefore, first of all I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all people– (2) for kings and all who are in authority– so we may live a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and respectfulness. (3) This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior.


(11b) … Three times a day [Daniel] knelt down, prayed and gave thanks before his God,….


(17) And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


(10) [Jonah prayed] “But I, with a voice of thanks will sacrifice to you. What I vowed, I will pay. Salvation is from Adonai.”


(14) Offer God a sacrifice of thank offerings, then fulfill your vows to Elyon. [Elyon = Hebrew name for God, commonly rendered “God Most High”]


(7) On that day David first appointed Asaph and his kinsmen to give thanks to Adonai: (8) Give thanks to Adonai, call upon His Name. Make His deeds known among the peoples. (9) Sing to Him! Sing praises to Him! Tell of all His wonderful acts. (10) Glory in His holy Name! Let the heart of those who seek Adonai rejoice. (11) Seek Adonai and His strength. Seek His face always. (12) Remember the wonders He has done, His signs and judgments of His mouth, (13) O descendants of Israel His servant, O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones! (14) He is Adonai our God; His judgments are in all the earth. (15) Remember His covenant forever,….


(15) Through Yeshua then, let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise– the fruit of lips giving thanks to His name. (16) Do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.


(12) I thank Messiah Yeshua our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, appointing me to service– ….


(17) But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching under which you were placed; (18) and after you were set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.


(15) Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!


(15) For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace that is spreading through more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow– to the glory of God.


(14) But thanks be to God, who in Messiah always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us reveals everywhere the aroma of the knowledge of Himself. (15) For we are the aroma of Messiah to God, among those who are being saved and those who are perishing– (16) to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. Who is competent for these things? (17) For we are not like many, peddling the word of God. Rather, in Messiah we speak in the sight of God with sincerity, as persons sent from God.

PSALM 116:

(16) O Adonai! Surely I am Your servant. I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant. You have freed me from my bonds. (17) To You I will offer a sacrifice of praise, and will call on the Name of Adonai.


(1) Of David. Adonai is my light and my salvation: whom should I fear? Adonai is the stronghold of my life: whom should I dread? (2) When evildoers approached me to devour my flesh– my adversaries and my foes– they stumbled and fell. (3) Though an army camp besieges me, my heart will not fear. Though war breaks out against me, even then will I be confident. (4) One thing have I asked of Adonai, that will I seek: to dwell in the House of Adonai all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of Adonai, and to meditate in His Temple. (5) For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His sukkah, conceal me in the shelter of His tent, and set me high upon a rock. (6) Then will my head be high above my enemies around me. In His Tabernacle I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy. I will sing, yes, sing praises to Adonai.

PSALM 106:

(1) Halleluyah! Praise Adonai, for He is good, for His lovingkindness endures forever.


(31) I will praise God’s Name with a song, and magnify Him with praise.

PSALM 105:

(1) Praise Adonai, call upon His Name. Make known His deeds among the peoples. (2) Sing to Him, sing praises to Him– tell about all His wonders! (3) Glory in His holy Name. Let the heart of those who seek Adonai rejoice.


(7) Adonai is my strength and my shield. My heart trusts in Him, and I was helped. Therefore my heart leaps for joy, and I will praise Him with my song.


(56) Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Torah. (57) But thanks be to God, who keeps giving us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! (58) Therefore, my dearly loved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord– because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF SACRIFICES TO GOD: God’s servants have offered thanksgiving and praise to God to signal servitude and worship for millennia.

One Bible student has compiled many instances in which God’s servants constructed altars, offered sacrifices, or made other gifts to God in praise, worship, and thanksgiving. See: Sacrifices in the Bible (275 instances) (knowing-jesus.com) .

The first recorded sacrifices were those of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:3-5). Farmer Cain sacrificed “fruit of the ground” (crops), which was rejected by Adonai. Herdsman Abel sacrificed “the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions,” which was accepted by Adonai. A jealous Cain killed his brother, Abel.

Many centuries later, the author of Hebrews commented on the two brothers’ sacrifice (Hebrews 11:4): By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain. Through faith he was commended as righteous when God approved of his gifts. And through faith he still speaks, although he is dead.

Why was Abel’s sacrifice “better” than Cain’s sacrifice? Why did a plant sacrifice, as opposed to an animal sacrifice, matter to Adonai? It is simply this: The animal sacrifice was the beginning preparation for sacrifice of the perfect Passover Lamb– Yeshua HaMashiach. The Passover observance required the sacrifice of a perfect, young lamb, which was the vicarious sacrifice (the foreshadow of or rehearsal for the sacrifice) of Yeshua. In the B’rit Chadashah, Yeshua was called “the Passover Lamb” or merely “the Lamb.”

We now understand that animal sacrifices were foreshadows of the future sacrifice of Yeshua on Golgotha’s cross (refer back to Leviticus 4:35 and 5:10). After Yeshua’s death on the cross, we no longer perform animal sacrifices (see Hebrews 9:13 – 10:18). Incidentally, can you imagine the uproar from PETA, the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, and the news media, if every family brought a lamb to sacrifice and burn in Shomair Yisrael’s parking lot on Shabbat mornings?

We will resume animal sacrifices in the Millennial Kingdom of Yeshua. See: Zechariah 14:8-21 and Revelation 20:4-6. The Millennial Temple will contain sacrificial tables and altars for animal sacrifices and burnt offerings. See: Ezekiel 40:39 and 45:15.

Such ancient Judaic sacrifices are difficult (confusing) for many Believers to accept. They argue, “But, Yeshua was the one-time and perfect sacrifice for the sins of humankind. Why will the sacrifices be repeated?”

A good summary of the Millennial sacrifices may be read at: Why are the animal sacrifices resumed during the millennium? (neverthirsty.org) . In brief:

Burnt animal offering:

● Levitical reference (past): Leviticus 1:1-17, and 6:8-13; Numbers 28:1-29:40

● Millennial reference (future): Ezekiel 40:39

● Symbolic meaning: Atonement for sins– the Messiah had a sinless life and every Believer’s sins are forgiven (Hebrews 4:15; 10:12; 1 Peter 2:24-25; 3:18)

Grain offering:

● Levitical reference (past): Leviticus 2:1-16, and 6:14-23

● Millennial reference (future): Ezekiel 45:15

● Symbolic meaning: Voluntary commitment to the Father– the Messiah voluntarily did the Father’s will (Philippians 2:8; Hebrew 10:8-10)

Peace offering:

● Levitical reference (past): Leviticus 3:1-17, and 7:11-36

● Millennial reference (future): Ezekiel 45:15

● Symbolic meaning: Peace or reconciliation with God– the Messiah is at peace with the Father and reconciled us to Him (Romans 1:4-5; 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Colossians 1:22)

Sin offering:

● Levitical reference (past): Leviticus 4:1-5:13, and 6:24-30

● Millennial reference (future): Ezekiel 40:39

● Symbolic meaning: Propitiation for sin– the Messiah’s substitutionary death for every Believer’s sins (Romans 3:24-25; 4:25; 1 Peter 2:24-25; 1 John 2:1-2)

Guilt offering:

● Levitical reference (past): Leviticus 5:14-6:7, and 7:1-10

● Millennial reference (future): Ezekiel 40:39

● Symbolic meaning: Redemption from slavery to sin– the Messiah redeemed us from our sins and slavery to sin (Romans 3:24-25; 6:5-6; Ephesians 1:7

Drink offering:

● Levitical reference (past): Leviticus 23:13, 37

● Millennial reference (future): Ezekiel 45:17

Just why do we resume these ancient sacrifices during the Millennium? It is probable that the sacrifices are meant to remind us of our glorious Judeo-Christian heritage and to remind us of the sacrifices our Savior made to redeem us from sin. Communion was given to us as a reminder of these sacrifices until we enter the Millennium (Matthew 26:26-29 and 1 Corinthians 11:24-26).

Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day later this week. I hope you are able to gather in harmony with friends and family. Enjoy this day to its fullest. We are never assured of more Thanksgivings. As one sage quipped, “Live every day as if it were going to be your last; for one day you’re sure to be right.” Until next Sunday, Shalom and Maranatha.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sun 20-Nov-2022 26th of Cheshvan, 5783
Ge 25:19-26:5 Jdg 12-13 Ps 37 Mt 26:36-75 (Ro 8)