Archive for January 8th, 2013

Psalm 136

Psalm 136 is the foundation of a popular praise and worship song “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for his steadfast love endures forever”.  This chapter has a simple theme.  The entire chapter talks about God and His faithfulness.  It lists dozens of ways that God has shown that He is faithful and that His love never ends.  It is a statement about God and who He is or what he has done, followed by these exact same words every time: “for His steadfast love endures forever”.

Big deal you say?  Yep – a mighty big deal.  Look at what the promise is here.  This isn’t just any love – this is God’s love – the love of the Father above.  It isn’t simple love but steadfast.  It lasts forever. It doesn’t waffle in the circumstances or change based on the day or activity.  It is constant, complete, and steady.  It is love, not some other action that we may more likely deserve.  God chooses to love us no matter what.  In the list of things in this chapter, they are not all good.  There are difficult times and good times.  God’s response to all is love.  That is who He is.  His love endures.  It doesn’t ebb or flow, it just continues.  It never slows or ceases, it goes on steady and dependably.  How long you may ask?  One word describes God’s steadfast love – FOREVER.  And forever is a very long time.  It is eternal.  It is unending.  It is all we will ever need or want.

So how does God get described here?  The list is long but well worth noting.  I’ll list the words that come before “for His steadfast love endures forever”.  This is how we should know God.  Some are adoration and praise, some are things He has done, some are promises of what He will do, but all tell us a story of how blessed we are to be in relationship with the Creator of the Universe and a God who loves us no matter what.  Bask in His truth.  Pray over His goodness.  He is the blessed King and Lord of all.

Give thanks to the Lord,

Give thanks to the God of gods

Give thanks to the Lord of lords

to him who alone does great wonders

to him who by understanding made the heavens

to him who spread out the earth above the waters

to him who made the great lights

the sun to rule over the day

the moon and stars to rule over the night

to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt

[to him who] brought Israel out from among them

[to him who] with a strong hand and an outstretched arm

to him who divided the Red Sea in two

[to him who let] Israel pass through the midst of it

[to him who] overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea

to him who led his people through the wilderness

to him who struck down great kings

[to him who] killed mighty kings

[to him who killed] Sihon, king of the Amorites

[to him who killed] Og, king of Bashan

[to him who] gave their land as a heritage

[to him who gave] a heritage to Israel his servant

It is he who remembered us in our low estate

[It is he who] rescued us from our foes

[It is he] he who gives food to all flesh

Give thanks to the God of heaven

We need to give thanks.  The chapter begins that way.  It ends that way.  There is no other response that is adequate than just getting on our face and thanking God for all that He is, has done, and will do.  He alone is worthy of our praise.  He alone is the King.  He alone is our future and hope.  Our response needs to be awe and worship and praise and giving Him the glory due Him.  Are you doing that right now?  If not, when?  Do it!

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