Jump Start # 3216
Psalms 6:5 “For there is no mention of You in death; in Sheol who will give You thanks?”
As we wrap up this week of writing about thankfulness, we’ve tried to look at things we often don’t put on our list. This verse, especially, is something that we likely won’t hear a sermon about around Thanksgiving time. “In Sheol,” the passage states, “who will give You thanks?” Such a sad statement.
The Hebrew word for Sheol means the grave. The Greek translation of this uses the word Hades. Either concept brings the same conclusion. The grave is silent. I have walked through hundreds of cemeteries and have never heard anyone praising God from the grave. There was one tombstone up in Lafayette, Indiana where it says no praying, preaching or singing is allowed on this lot. The backside of that stone listed two passages that seem to be contradictions. That dead person did not believe. Being the rebel that I am, I have taken people to that grave and we have sung hymns.
Contextually, David, the writer is making a plea for God to help him. He wants God to rescue him. The lovingkindness of God ought to be enough to reach out to him. Then our verse, indicating, that if David were to die, he could no longer thank the Lord. Thankfulness belongs to the land of the living. Here’s why you ought to save me, God, so I can continue to praise You. I doubt David understood the afterlife as well as we do. Passages such as the rich man and Lazarus remind us that we are not lifeless, void of thinking or even conversation on the other side of life. Can we, will we give God thanks beyond this life? The picture in Revelation shows a lot of praise going before the throne of God. Revelation 7:12 states that there is blessing, glory, thanksgiving and honor being given to God by those who washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.
Who will give You thanks, is an interesting expression. Who will give God thanks on the other side?
First, the redeemed will. It is not by our effort, goodness or wisdom that we are saved. It’s the grace of God that saves us. What joys we will experience. What wonders we will see. What victories we will know. Safely home with God. Safely home, to never leave again. Safely home and nothing to ever bother us, tempt us or harm us again. All problems over. All stress ended. All worries finished. A race completed. A faith kept. Thankful? Do you think? Absolutely. Always. Forever. We will be in a place that we do not belong. God’s home becomes our home.
Second, Jesus will be thankful. His sacrifice was not wasted. His blood was not in vain. There are thousands that owe their life to Jesus. How much He loves us. How much He wants us to be with Him. He poured His very life out for us. He will be so happy to see you. He will be so thankful that you believed. He will be so appreciative of the changes and the sacrifices you made in your life for Him. He knows how you have helped the kingdom. He knows the battles you have fought. He knows the good that you did. He knows you love Him. Jesus will be thankful to see you. You made it, and you will be right where you belong.
Third, ole’ Satan won’t be happy to know that you made it safely to Heaven. He’s one who won’t be thankful. He has nothing good to say about you. He’s not got a nice bone in his body. He’s done all he could to keep you away from Jesus. He has tempted you. He has tried to confuse you. He has tried to hurt you. But you stayed the course with Jesus. You never looked back. You never gave up. Heaven smiles. Satan frowns.
Fourth, we must be thankful to God on this side of life. Our lives illustrate our thankfulness. Thanksgiving isn’t a specific Thursday in November for the disciple of Jesus. We are thankful all the time. We recognize the blessings of God. We realize how much salvation means. We are glad to be included in God’s wonderful kingdom.
David wanted to live so he could continue to thank the Lord. What a great thought. As we have today, let us be thankful for the wonderful fellowship with God and His people. Let us be thankful for the truth that God has revealed to us. Let us be thankful for hope, promises and joy that are found in the Lord.
Thankful—on this side and the next side of life. That’s just the way it ought to be…