Dear precious sisters in Messiah:
This week I was inspired by Psalm 136, often called a “Hallelujah Psalm” because it contains no petitions, no complaints, and no adversity. Instead, it contains a list of moments where God worked in history, each answered by the refrain “His love endures forever.” No doubt the worship leader would read the first line of each verse, and the congregation would respond, “His love endures forever.” Having said that, I would like our focus for this week’s Sisterhood Love Letter to reflect:
Always Praise God…His Love Endures Forever
Psalm 136 begins this way:
“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”
These first three verses offer us three reasons to always praise God: He is good; He is the God of gods, and He is the Lord of lords. As children of God we know that there is only one true God who rules the universe. He is the Supreme Being of the entire Universe. To that great God belongs our utmost, deepest, and highest praise. The chorus in each verse, “His love endures forever,” reminds us that in all things God’s love is displayed at work on behalf of His children. God’s love is eternal because His covenant is eternal. Being that God’s love endures, His love outlasts all the trials and tribulations we encounter in life; it transcends the challenges we face daily; and God’s love continues on when our life comes to an end on earth.
Charles Spurgeon described God’s enduring love this way: “No saint shall fall finally or fatally. Sorrow may bring us to the earth, and death may bring us to the grave, but lower we cannot sink, and out of the lowest of all we shall arise to the highest of all.” Praise God for His blessed assurance. This is our hope: We may fail, but “His love endures forever.” We may stumble and fall, but “His love endures forever.”
The remainder of Psalm 136 contains a survey of God’s faithfulness beginning with creation (verses 5-9) and culminating with Israel’s entry into the Promised Land (verses 10-26). These verses follow the general pattern of Genesis 1. Verse 5 parallels Genesis 1:1; Verse 6 goes with Genesis 1:2; Verses 7-9 closely follow Genesis 14-18. Note that the universe and everything in it is made “by His understanding.” This knowledge completely rules out evolution or blind faith. The universe came into being because God willed it to be. Hebrews 11:3 states the same truth this way: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” The entire universe came into being by a plan that comes from the hand and mind of our One and only true living God…the God of the Universe.
In Verses 10-15 of Psalm 136, we recall the amazing series of miracles whereby God freed His people from Egyptian bondage: “To him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt and brought Israel out from among them with a mighty hand and outstretched arm; to him who divided the Red Sea asunder and brought Israel through the midst of it, but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea..His love endures forever.” We need to praise the Lord not only that we are delivered but that our enemies are scattered, confounded, and utterly defeated because…His love endures forever!
In Verse 16 the psalmist sums up forty years of wandering in one verse: “To him who led his people through the desert, His love endures forever.” So many things happened during those forty years: manna and quail, water from the rock, Balaam and his talking donkey, Moses on Mt. Sinai, the golden calf, Kadesh Barnea, the twelve spies, bleached bones in the desert, grumbling, and the continual challenges to Moses’ leadership. Through it all, God led His people to the Promised Land, because His love endures forever!
What an encouragement these verses are to God’s children because they remind us of God’s faithfulness in spite of our sin, failures, and foolish unbelief. God never gives up on His people. Let every child of God take great hope. Your past does not determine your future. God’s mercy to those who trust in Him know that His love endures forever! What God did for ancient Israel, He does for His people today, all the time, in all circumstances because…His love endures forever!
In Verses 23-25, we gain three great truths about God: He remembered us; He freed us; He fed us. God remembered us by sending His one and only begotten Son, Yeshua, to save us; God freed us from our sins; God gives food to every creature. Psalm 136 ends with a general call to praise God at all times: “Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.”
Let’s take away three key elements from our study of Psalm 136:
God Is The Center Of History: That’s why the psalmist connects the concrete facts of history with a triumphant cry of praise to God. If we somehow miss that point, then we have missed the very purpose of our existence. We are to glorify God in all things: To see His hand at work; to believe Him in the darkest moments; to give Him thanks for every victory; to lean upon His Word; to grow more like Him day by day; to live so that others find it easy to believe in Him; and to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Our Faith Rests on Facts: The long recital of Israel’s history teaches us that our faith rests upon the concrete acts of God in human history. Our faith is entirely founded on the great realities of the Bible – God’s inspired breathed upon Words. The Bible is a literal creation by the hand of God; the existence of Israel; the miracles of the Old Testament; the prophecies of the Messiah. Above everything else, the miraculous birth, the sinless life, the sacrificial death, and the victorious resurrection of Yeshua, our Lord and Messiah, and His triumphant ascension into heaven.
God’s Love Endures Forever: God sent His One and only begotten Son, so that we may experience a saving relationship with Him; the barriers between God and ourselves have been removed through Yeshua, enabling us to live eternity with our heavenly Father. Whenever you are feeling weary or life’s trials and tribulations seem over-whelming, ponder this thought: His love endures forever. When your life seems to spin out of control, stand up and lift your head up to the skies and shout out: “His love endures forever – Praise God.” Remind yourself that we serve a God who is sovereign, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Remember that His ways are not our ways. Ponder His mighty power and strength; consider His grace and how He has led you thus far. Fix your mind on Yeshua and you will never lose your way!
As I write these words, we have just entered a new year with all its promise and all its uncertainty. What will the new year hold for you? My hope is that each of you will experience amazing answers to prayer. I am certain of this much, and on this I will take my stand: His love endures forever! Amen.
I am down on my knees praising God,