His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. “His love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:1 NLT
In this Psalm we are encouraged repeatedly to give thanks to God. But we are also given the reasons why. Over and over again, the psalmist provides us with the countless examples of God’s love that we encounter each and every day. The word the psalmist uses that is translated love in The New Living Translation and mercy in The New American Standard version is chesed, which means “the grace, favor, and mercy of God toward man.” The things the psalmist lists are examples of God’s favor and mercy toward us. His creation is an example of His grace, mercy and favor. His redemption of Israel from captivity in Egypt is an expression of His grace, mercy and favor. His splitting of the Red Sea and miraculously rescuing the Israelites from certain destruction at the hands of the Egyptians was an expression of His grace, mercy and favor. His provision and protection of the Israelites during all their years of wandering in the wilderness was an expression of His grace, mercy and favor. His victories over the enemies who occupied the Promised Land was an expression of His grace, mercy and favor. His provision of the land was an expression of His grace, mercy and favor. His recognition of Israel’s weakness and inability to save themselves, then stepping in and redeeming and rescuing them, is an expression of His grace, mercy and favor.
Over and over again, the psalmist paints a picture of God’s unending grace, mercy and favor expressed to the people of God in a variety of ways. And what should our response be to all this? Thanks! Gratitude! A recognition that God has been and is at work in and around our lives in so many ways. Some obvious, and some not so obvious. The very creation of the world in which we live is an expression of God’s love for us. The provision of the food we eat is an expression of God’s love for us. But how often do we thank Him for our meals or for the beauty we see all around us? We take it all for granted. One of the problems the Israelites faced was that when they finally got into the land and enjoyed all that God had given them, they would take credit for it all and forget God. And God knew this was going to be temptation for them. Listen to His warning to them just before they entered the land. “When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you–a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant–then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Deuteronomy 6:10-12 NLT). Cities you did not build, good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, vineyards and groves you did not plant … all of these things were provided by God in His great grace, mercy and favor. They were undeserved and unmerited. God gives us so many things each and every day that we do not deserve. We enjoy so much that is just a result of His unmerited favor toward us. And our response should be (1) a recognition of it as an expression of God’s love, and (2) thankfulness to God for His love. God’s love is everlasting and everywhere we look. It surrounds us. It protects us. It provides for us. It sustains us. And for that we should be eternally grateful.
Father, thank You for Your everlasting, undeserved love that You shower on me day after day in so many ways. Thank You for my health, my home, my cars I drive, the clothes I wear, the wife I love, they children You have given me, the job I go to each day, the paychecks I cash, the food I eat, the friends I enjoy … they all come from You. Because You love me. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men