His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

Some portions of Scripture you kind of need to work at if you really want to pick up what’s being laid down. Not so much with Psalm 136. Instead, with this song the table is set clearly and without ambiguity. The task then, it seems to me, is to slow down and let sink in what the Spirit has to say to those with ears to hear. To not rush the meal, but to savor it . . . to meditatively chew on it . . . to taste and see that the Lord is good.

To not rush through the repetition, but to receive it . . . and reflect on it . . . and respond to it . . . again and again and again . . . and again and again and again.

Twenty-six verses in the psalm. And twenty-six times a simple chorus is repeated:

. . . His steadfast love endures forever.

It’s the reason for the songwriter’s emphatically repeated exhortation . . .

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
   for His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
   for His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
   for His steadfast love endures forever; . . .
Give thanks to the God of heaven,
   for His steadfast love endures forever.

(Psalm 136:1-3, 26 ESV)

What is the reader to do? What is the singer of the song to engage in? Pretty simple. Give thanks. Offer up praise. Confess the Name. Not a suggestion but a command.

And how come? ‘Cause our God is good. Jehovah, the existing One, is good. Elohim, the preeminent One, God over all gods, is good. Adonai, the sovereign One, Ruler over every ruler, is good. El Shameh, the God of Heaven, God above all things, is good.

And the evidence of His goodness? His love. His steadfast love. His enduring and steadfast love. His forever enduring, steadfast love. Unfailing kindness . . . unchanging mercies . . . perpetual favor. Day in day out reminders of the reality that our God is active in our lives and that He is good. That’s what the lyricist wants us to remember, and remember again, about this high and holy God? He is good. And we know His goodness through His forever enduring, steadfast love.

So, if we were to truly appreciate such a good, good God, how could we keep from singing? How could we not, repeatedly, break forth in anthems of thanksgiving! Regardless of circumstance, our praise stemming not from where we’re at or how we feel, but ignited and sustained solely because of who He is and how He has chosen to enter our lives.

His steadfast love exhibited through the glory and wonder of creation (136:4-9). His steadfast love experienced through our deliverance from bondage (136:10-15). His steadfast love evident by His guidance and protection as we sojourn through the wilderness, assured of the promised inheritance (136:16-22). His steadfast love presently experienced as He makes known His abiding presence in every situation, meeting every need through His all-sufficient grace (136:23-25).

God is good! Give thanks to God! Sing His praise! For His steadfast love endures forever.

Not too complicated, yet like trying to fit the ocean in a cup. Easy to understand, but overwhelming to take in.

And worth repeating, again and again and again. Worth remembering, again and again and again. Worth responding to, again and again and again.

O give thanks to the LORD. For He is good. And His steadfast love endures forever.

Such amazing grace! To Him be all the glory!

 

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