One thing immediately strikes us about the opening prayer: it is identical (in the Hebrew, almost identical) to the first verse of Psalm 6, which is the first of the penitential psalms. In fact, the two psalms bear very close resemblances. True, Psalm 6 is shorter, only ten verses as opposed to twenty-two. Psalm 38 describes the illness at greater length as well as elaborating upon the desertion by the psalmist's friends and the scheming of his enemies.

Psalm 38 is listed among the penitential psalms because of its confession of sin in verses 3-5 and 18.1 David, who is identified as the author in the title, does not actually name his sin in this psalm but rather asks for mercy and help from God because of the terrible sickness, loneliness and isolation he has experienced because of it. He says that God sent the sickness "because of his sinful folly" (v. 5). The psalm is actually a lament, or simply a prayer. Peter C. Craigie says, "Psalm 38 is a prayer... evoked by the experience of sickness and the consequent sense of alienation from both God and fellow human beings."2

So what should we do this Thanksgiving weekend? I suggest that we should follow our Lord's example and thank God in each of these ways I have tried to point out in this study.

On this Thanksgiving Day, we continue our look at Jesus' example to us in so small a matter as thanking God for his food.

In so small a matter of thanking God for his food, Jesus becomes an example to us. What is it that we can learn from his behavior? As we saw yesterday, we should give thanks for even the smallest things. Today we examine three more points.