Scripture: Psalm 100:4    

There are two Hebrew words that our English Bible translates to the word thanksgiving. One is the word "yada" and the other is the word "towdah". Yada is translated thanksgiving only two times in Scripture compared to towdah being translated thanksgiving eighteen times. While both words mean "to offer a confession, praise or thanks", yada is a responsive thanks and towdah is anticipatory. Yada is thanking God for what He has done. Towdah is thanking God for what He is going to do. Towdah is giving thanks in faith. Whenever towdah is used it is at a time when the people are in a condition of lack, trouble, or need and they are told to offer towdah even though conditions are unfavorable.

The very first Thanksgiving feast that the Pilgrims held with the native Indians in 1621 was a feast held to celebrate the harvest. The Pilgrims had experienced a good year and the provisions were abundant so they offer, what the Hebrew text would call a yada thanks.

The precedence established by our traditional Thanksgiving is to look at our harvest and thank God for what he has done. The admonition most often given in Scripture is to be in need and thank God anyway. Thanksgiving is not only reserved for us to thank God because of but it is our time to thank Him in spite of.