They soon forgot His works; they waited not for His counsel: but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul. They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the LORD. The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan and covered the company of Abiram. And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked. They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image. Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eats grass. They forgot God their Savior, which had done great things in Egypt; Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea. Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He should destroy them. Then, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not His word: But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD. – Psalm 106:13-25.
Friday was the first shopping day after Thanksgiving and is known as “Black Friday”. I’ll confess that I did go shopping Friday in one store, a bookstore. It was crowded but I was able to buy a bargain – If you bought two reduced price books, you got a third one free. Actually, the bookstore shoppers were a little calmer than you probably found in most stores. When I checked out the clerk asked if I had a penny – I didn’t have one but the man behind me immediately offered one of his. Things were a little wilder across the country with stores opening as early as 5 a.m. and many in line for the opening long before that. Because, stores/retailers were offering some incentives and bargains for the shoppers.
By the time a Wal-Mart store in the Buffalo, N.Y. suburb of Hamburg opened at 6 a.m., one thousand people had formed a lined that reached across the entire storefront, in spite of the temperature being only 31 degrees. One of the shoppers, Ruth Pompeo, was up at 3 a.m. and in line at 4:30 a.m. with her 11-year-old niece said, “It’s our tradition. I don’t know what I’m here to grab, actually,” she paused and then said, “Whatever I can”. When Martin and Teri Clouser arrived at a Plano, Texas Best Buy store at 4 a.m., they found that there were already several hundred people in a line that reached around the store and down the block. Maybe that’s why they call it “Black Friday”!
It appears that Thanksgiving is becoming a forgotten holiday. Oh, everyone enjoys the time off – but the Christmas decorations and the shopping starts long before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a purely Christian holiday with no pagan claims at all – it ought to be that way at Christmas but it really isn’t. What is the first thing that people think about when they think of Christmas? It would appear that they think about shopping for Christmas gifts. I would submit to you that long before Thanksgiving was becoming a forgotten holiday that the true meaning of Christmas had been forgotten.
This is exactly what had happened to the Hebrews after their miraculous escape from captivity in Egypt. We who are Christians have been miraculously delivered from captivity just as the Hebrews were. We were in slavery to the world, the flesh and the devil – the chains of sin had us bound and we were forced to work for the wages of sin which is “death (Romans 6:23a)”. What happened, what occurred to bring about the freedom of the Hebrews? What happened was that God sent a Savior, Moses, who led his people to freedom. What happened, what occurred to bring about our freedom? (Romans 6:23b) God sent us a Savior who at the cost of His own life bought and paid for our release from bondage.
The Psalmist tells us very plainly, what has happened and what is wrong at the same time. These are sad words that we find in verses 21 and 22 of Psalm 106 where the Psalmist says, “They forgot God their Savior, which had done great things in Egypt; wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea.”
This Christmas season let us remember that the real reason for the season is still JESUS!
(The real reason for the Christmas season.)