The Old, Old Story

Hovering over Psalm 136 this morning. A song of repetition. Not hard to pick up what the songwriter’s laying down:

. . . for His steadfast love endures forever.

Twenty-six verses in the psalm. Twenty-six times the heartbeat of the song is heard:

. . . for His steadfast love endures forever.

And what are we to do with this rhythm of heaven echoed in this song? Give thanks to the LORD (v.1). Give thanks to the God of gods (v.2). Give thanks to the Lord of lords (v.3). Give thanks to the God of heaven (v.26). Give thanks, for He is good (v.1).

. . . for His steadfast love endures forever.

So, this morning, guess what I’m doing (besides typing). Giving thanks.

And what hits me in particular are the two great themes pounded on in this song as the catalyst for thanksgiving.

It’s not the blessings of the day that primes the pump. Not the good life enjoyed. Not that the headlines in the news are encouraging. Not even the favor shown to the house. But the evidence that the steadfast love of the LORD endures forever seems to be anchored to two great themes: His creation (v. 4-9); and His deliverance (v.10-24).

Creation reminding the songwriter that He “alone does great wonders” (v.4). Deliverance a reminder of the “strong hand and outstretched arm” (v.12) that rescued a chosen people and brought them into a divine inheritance (v. 21-22).

Both old, old stories.

Today’s reality, whatever it might be, framed in the context of yesterday’s legacy. God’s steadfast love just as sure in the present, because of His mighty works in the past.

Creation’s durability a reminder His steadfast love endures forever. Redemption’s reality a reminder His steadfast love endures forever.

And so, there’s something about going back to old, old stories when it comes to dealing with new realities. And that takes me to the cross.

The cross where Jesus died as the Lamb of God. Immanuel, God Himself, humbled in flesh, obedient to death, even death on a cross.

. . . for His steadfast love endures forever.

The cross, where with outstretched arms, the rejected Son of God interceded, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”

. . . for His steadfast love endures forever.

The cross where my sin, once and for all, was atoned for. The price which I could never pay, paid in full.

. . . for His steadfast love endures forever.

The cross where the King of Heaven declared, “It is finished!”

. . . for His steadfast love endures forever.

The cross where death was defeated.

. . . for His steadfast love endures forever.

In this age where we are bombarded with more information than we can possible process. This age of 140 character thoughts, most with a shelf-life of just a few seconds as they are scrolled by on some feed, quickly supplanted by the latest 140 character thought. This age of the temporal, the unreliable, and the disposable. In this age obsessed with the latest thing and the newest ideas, . . .

. . . there is something to be said for going back to the old, old, story–again and again–and giving thanks.

. . . for His steadfast love endures forever.

Because of grace. For His glory.

Amen?

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