Altar of thanksgiving
Nehemiah 12:46 KJVFor in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers , and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.
I like to read Nehemiah, He had a heart for Israel and Jerusalem, I see His heart throughout the book.
Without spending more time on my appreciation of Nehemiah, I want to say something about “thanksgiving.”
First; I don’t know of a scripture that says “Altar of thanksgiving” yet I hope the choice of wording will have some inspiration with it.
An Altar in our modern Christian settings may most commonly be the table on which the Sacraments are placed for Communion. Until the mid to late twentieth century most protestant churches often had “alter benches” down front, with the increase of nondenominational and the mega churches “Altars” are no longer necessary for a repentant sinner to humble oneself by kneeling in confession or a symbolic kneeling before one's “Lord” and “Saviour.”
The Minor Prophet Amos seems to say; offer a sacrifice upon an altar for thanksgiving.
And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord God.
King James Version (KJV) by Public Domain
The reference is very similar to the instructions from the law of Moses in Leviticus 7:13 the item of “sacrifice” need not have an intrinsic value but be of value to the giver. Thus it cost the giver! In the Old Testament is “first fruits” or on offering without spot or blemish and the “Widows mite” in Jesus’s parable.
Now add this definition of “Thanksgiving” in the text from Nehemiah:
The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon/ Strong's concordance Number: 03034
Nehemiah is telling the downtrodden remnants of Jerusalem that in the day of King David “thanksgiving” meant action.
Like throwing flowers on a stage, laying flowers at a loved ones resting place. Like shooting arrows with streamers (the forerunner of fireworks?) Casting something at one's feet as a sign of respect (remember the crowds cast palm branches as Jesus rode into the city on a donkey)
It is all action throwing, shooting, casting, giving, confessing and thanking!
It is going out of one way. Giving that pair of shoes that fit & feel good (the ones you like to wear) Giving time you don’t think you have!
Maybe in between the joyous celebrations of eating and ball games we can do some THANKGIVING
“Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.” Psalm 95:2-3
God is God ! Christ is Lord
R. C. B. Lewis; 2012-14 © All rights reserved