Neither were they thankful; as in current days representing a culture and mindset gone sideways, and far too many have agreed that a simple thanks as in prayer to someone greater is an act of desperation. Really now.
So it would be kind of insulting if the one doing the thanking received no recognition of his appreciation. What? Are you stern, and do you stare at a child who says ‘thanks’ when you give him a lollipop? Or do we not smile at his token of appreciation. Yet, this is precisely the impression people have of a God they say they cannot see, that yes, He is stern.
The thought goes something like this: Thanks is only relevant or real if the one being thanked is able to recognize and say ‘you are welcome’ as it were. Since ‘God’ cannot and does not utter the words ‘you are welcome,’ then the one doing the thanks is somewhat displaying some loose marbles.
Ah, but does He not say ‘you are welcome………….?’ Perhaps one relies too much on words alone to see such evidence of a return response to a simple thanks.
A sure-fire sign of a society gone south is the blistering truth that men ‘are not thankful.’ A man will not thank God for the shade of a tree, yet curse Him when the same tree falls on his car twenty years later. Not once in two decades was God thanked, now, all of a sudden, He is to be scorned. Hmm.
Prayer and thanksgiving is a recognition that the creature abides under the umbrella of heaven, and gives respect to He who sends the rain. A prayerful heart is a thankful heart. Can I not be thankful for the wind on a hot day? Yep. Can you not give thanks for water when laboring for twelve hours in the sun? Yep. Oh wait, excuse me, giving thanks for water is foolish, since there is no proof of the water giver………..so why be thankful.
Really? You going with that? Then get your own water. As a matter of fact, make your own water. Yeah, it’s quite foolish. Yet all men merely borrow that which is, we borrow other men’s talents and resources, we borrow their thoughts and ideas, we borrow their opinions, and we borrow endless excuses from the dry well of unbelief, where there is no water. But sadly, we borrow all that is God’s, and somehow blame Him for our defects.
We are both ungrateful and unthankful. We declare our foolishness.
Being thankful to One greater is a natural response to breathing. ‘Neither were they thankful, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.’ We say ‘thanks’ to a man or woman when they hold a door for us, and in that fraction of time, our mouths utter what our hearts know: it is easy to render thanks for the obvious.
So we thank God. For food. For clothing. For shelter. For hands. For suffering. For feet. For the obvious. For eyes. For labor. For family. For sorrow. For faith. For spouses. For children. For humor. For the arts and sciences. For friends. For all that is in life, above, below, beyond, we give Thee thanks.
But a person will say ‘thanks’ is an illusion of wishful thinking, purely a tool for the weak which needs a crutch to walk about the days of our lives. Once more, hmm.
So there you are toiling away in sweltering heat, wishing there was shade for just a moment. Yep there it is, a massive elm tree with limbs spread abroad inviting you to take respite, but you dare not give thanks, as that would incriminate your common sense yes?
Busted. Ok then I’ll say it for you: thank God for the shade. Don’t want to thank God? Fine, are you not still thankful for the shade? Of course, and you have just admitted to the pride of life. To be thankful apart from He who supplied the shade is the epitome of pride.
The pride of life is a free dish served up to many a hungry customer.
You say with shortsightedness that God does not say ‘you are welcome?’ Ha, think again, for how many breaths have been loaned to you since you first began reading here and arguing with yourself? The Giver of life deserves thanks, and this truth can be seen in the automatic response of a three-year old who is given a toy or penny candy: Thank you.
Saying thanks is not difficult and causes no sweat. Interested in a world where giving thanks is thought to be passe? No thanks.
In any language, in any culture, at any time, and in every place, giving thanks is an expression for the obvious.
Riding home late last night on my motorcycle I saw the reliability of the moon; that lesser light to rule the night, and I thanked God for His endearing and enduring promises, while I felt sorry for they who could not see beyond their own zip code.
Lord God open our eyes. ‘Neither were they thankful.’