Nehemiah 11:17 – And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer: and Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.
The Jews had returned to their homeland after seventy years of captivity in a strange land. They were ready to begin Thanksgiving, and two men were selected to begin the prayer. Mattaniah was first, and Bakbukiah was second.
It’s little wonder why they chose Mattaniah, his name means The Gift Of Jehovah. During our own Thanksgiving we should be mindful that everything we have is a gift from God. Our lives may face challenges, but we all have experienced blessings.
While I was glad to know the meaning of Mattaniah’s name, I rejoiced greatly concerning the one who followed him. Bakbukiah means The Waste or Pouring Out Of Jehovah. We know that God has no waste, no negative, no darkness, only light. My mind instantly went to the drink offering that is poured out as praise to God.
I also recalled the fact that Paul, who said he was about to be poured out as a drink offering, also said something else. In whatever state I am in, I am content. He said this because he was as thankful in the hard times, as the good ones. This positive outlook was his mindset because Paul knew something. He knew that even on his worst days, God was using it for His Kingdom, to reach more souls.
Bakbukiah knew, we praise Him now, but we also praised Him during the seventy years of captivity. God was doing something in those seventy years that they didn’t completely understand, but knew God was working for their good, and they were thankful. Yes God was correcting the problems of the previous many years, but He was doing so much more.
Consider this as an example. Is it possible that the Wisemen of Matthew chapter two were handed down this prophecy because Daniel was head of the wise men of Babylon during the captivity? We do not know, and Bakbukiah didn’t know what it all meant. Yet he knew God was good, and to give Thanksgiving for all that they had been through, the difficult as well as the obvious.
It did not mean that everything they experienced was good, but that it all worked for their good. The same word that means Thanksgiving also means to shoot rocks or arrows in Hebrew. The Psalmist David knew the benefits of slinging rocks, they fell giants. He also knew the benefits of shooting arrows at a target you are working towards.
In Thanksgiving we thank God for where He has brought us from, rejoicing over the victories. We thank Him for where He has brought us too, rejoicing in our current situation, knowing He is in control. We thank The Lord for where He is taking us, knowing it is all for God’s glory to the saving of more souls.
Mattaniah and Bakbukiah both raised their hands. They each prayed prayers of Thanksgiving, and rejoiced. They were thankful because they knew, every day is a gift from God, every day should be Thanksgiving day!