30 Days of Thanks & Praise! Day #27 - Thoughts on Thankfulness (Psalm 136)
Thoughts on Thankfulness (Psalm 136)
The psalm begins with threefold praise to the triune God. It then gives numerous examples of God’s blessing to Israel throughout its history. It concludes with verses of personal gratitude for mercy and God’s provision. The phrase, “for his mercy endureth for ever”, which is repeated over and over in this psalm (26 times), teaches us that all of God’s actions toward us, and for us, are based on love. Why does the psalmist repeat 26 times the theme that God’s lovingkindness is everlasting? It’s because the enemy wants us to doubt it, especially when trials hit. God’s love is also the main reason we should always express thanks to Him. His love is expressed through His mercy, faithfulness, compassion, kindness, care, and spiritual salvation. We experience that love fully through a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus.
As His children, we are to be thankful in all things. Here are four reasons.
1. For His Person (Psalm 136:1-3)
We are instructed to be thankful to God. The reason is He is good and His mercy endures forever. That was true in David’s day and it remains true to this day. What a wonderful assurance! God’s blessing is enduring. It continues forever.
2. For His Power (Psalm 136:4-9)
The creative work of God to this day remains a wondrous work, whether it be the heavens above, the earth beneath, or the heavenly bodies of the sun, moon, and stars. They all manifest the goodness of God and illustrate that His mercy endures forever. That creative work ought to stir us to give thanks unto God to this day.
3. For His Purposes (Psalm 136:10-22)
David rehearsed the power of God in the first Passover and His mighty deliverance of Israel out of Egypt at the Red Sea. He gave them victory against insurmountable odds in their long march to the land God had promised them, and then God gave them the land He had promised them as an heritage forever. Truly, God was good to Israel and manifested forth His mercy to them. It was all manifold cause for them to give thanks unto God. As gentile Christians, God has blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ, as well as promising temporal blessings in the meantime. We, as well, have great cause to give thanks unto the Lord. Indeed, His mercy has endured forever unto this day.
4. For His Provision (Psalm 136:23-26)
His abundant mercy should cause us to sing of His loving-kindness continually. Experiencing His grace is not just once and for all; His love and kindness are not provided only until He loses patience with us, but they go on and on. It is His nature, and it is eternal. This hymn reviews the history of God demonstrating His loving-kindness to show that it is truly everlasting. Each creative act and the wonders He performed were testimonies of His loving-kindness. We need to be reminded that God is worthy of praise for all that He has done for us throughout our lives. He created us and gave us life. He redeemed us from our sin and adopted us as His own. He has blessed us with families and a significant and fulfilling life. He never grows impatient but is always beside us to deliver us out of our troubles and rescue us from adversaries who would come against us.
Prayer: Lord, You are worthy of all worship and honor and praise. You are great and powerful to remember me and be merciful to me in times of need. You have demonstrated Your compassion in my life so many times. You are truly good all the time. May I never cease to praise You and worship You because Your loving-kindness is truly unending.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.