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Read Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.

13 to him who divided the Red Sea asunder
His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever.

17 to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures forever.

23 He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

Go Deeper

Psalm 136 is a beautiful depiction of the love of God. It compels the reader to zoom out, see a glimpse into the sovereignty of God, and be led into a posture of worship as a response to His love toward us. The psalmist uses repetition as a means to demonstrate how everything that God does is an outpour of His steadfast love towards us. Even the things that we would deem “unloving” in our own eyes, like striking the first born of Egypt (v. 10) or killing mighty kings (v. 18), was still done in love by God for the sake of displaying His majesty on earth and enacting His sovereign rescue mission. The psalmist recounts many stories of the Old Testament, including the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt (v. 11) and the splitting of the Red Sea (v. 13), in order to show that the story of Scripture is one of God pursuing His people by love even in the midst of man’s sin and rebellion.

God has a perfect track record of faithfulness; it’s just who He is. Therefore, anytime we begin to judge what is loving and unloving of God, we begin to make God into our own image instead of being conformed into the image of God. We like to define what is good and evil, instead of allowing the One who created all things (v. 5) to define it for us.

This passage is an invitation for us to rest in the love of God and allow it to move us to a place of worship and obedience, for He has invited us into a love-struck relationship with Him. He has rescued us and set us free, and now we get to love and obey as a response as we fix our eyes on Love Himself. The author of love, the perfecter of love, Who has written a love letter to us in Scripture.

Questions

  1. What are you thankful to God for today? How do you see His love displayed toward you? Spend some time just sitting with the Lord and giving thanks to Him!
  2. Are there any areas of your life where you have gone searching for a love that is not found in God? (your work, a relationship, approval, addiction, performance, etc.)
  3. Who is someone in your life that could be encouraged today that God is a God of steadfast love, whose love endures forever? Maybe a friend who is walking through something hard or a family member who could use this encouragement. Text them this psalm, and share with them what you learned.

Pray This

Father, I love you. You are good. You are holy. You are sovereign over all things. Your steadfast love endures forever. Help me to trust your heart even when I can’t trace your hand. When I don’t understand why my circumstances look the way that they do, help me to fixate on who I know you to be. Father, would you conform me into the image of your love that I might be an ambassador for biblical love here on earth and display your love toward others. Thank you, Lord, for being kind and faithful and for always moving toward me in love even when I sin against you. I love you, Lord. May you increase my love for you today. It is in your precious and holy name I pray, Amen.

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