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Summary: The second part of Psalm 136 looking at the unconditional love of God.

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“Forever, Part Two”

July 30, 2006

Last week we began looking at Psalm 136 and focused on two key aspects of God. This psalm is unique in that it talks repeatedly about God’s love lasting forever. We talked about how it was a love that is strong, steadfast, merciful and righteous.

Two main themes from last week:

1) God is the one true God.

2) God is the creator of all things.

This week we are going to focus on the last part of the psalm.

“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.

To him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.

Who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever.

Who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.

Who made the great lights—His love endures forever.

The sun to govern the day, His love endures forever.

The moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.

To him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt His love endures forever.

And brought Israel out from among them His love endures forever.

With a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures forever.

To him who divided the Red Sea asunder His love endures forever.

And brought Israel through the midst of it, His love endures forever.

But swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea; His love endures forever.

To him who led his people through the desert, His love endures forever.

Who struck down great kings, His love endures forever.

And killed mighty kings--His love endures forever.

Sihon king of the Amorites His love endures forever.

And Og king of Bashan--His love endures forever.

And gave their land as an inheritance, His love endures forever.

An inheritance to his servant Israel; His love endures forever.

To the One who remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever.

And freed us from our enemies, His love endures forever.

And who gives food to every creature. His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1-26 (NIV)

I. God is an Active God

God does not simply abandon his people. He is active in our lives to protect us, to guide us and to draw us to him.

“To him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt His love endures forever.

And brought Israel out from among them His love endures forever.

With a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures forever.

To him who divided the Red Sea asunder His love endures forever.

And brought Israel through the midst of it, His love endures forever.

But swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea; His love endures forever.

To him who led his people through the desert, His love endures forever.

Who struck down great kings, His love endures forever.

And killed mighty kings--His love endures forever.

Sihon king of the Amorites His love endures forever.

And Og king of Bashan--His love endures forever.

And gave their land as an inheritance, His love endures forever.

An inheritance to his servant Israel; His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:10-22 (NIV)

As the people of Israel went up to worship God, they were constantly praising him and reminding one another about the greatness of God and the deliverance of his people from Egypt.

These verses recall some of the greatest moments of God’s divine intervention in the life of the nation. It is an acknowledgment that God and God alone is worthy of praise for his work in leading them out of almost 500 years of slavery and supplying their need for forty years in the desert before they entered the Promised Land.

For the Jewish people, the history of the nation is not someone else’s history, it is their history. What happened to the nation 400 years ago happened to them in that they are a direct line to the events and the people of the history of the nation. It is an image of recognizing the care and the love and favor of God in the life of the society.

This psalm reflects the nature of Gods love toward his people.

It is one of loving kindness, grace, mercy and strength.

God delivered the nation out of Egypt because of his love for them and because he wanted to show them his power and his glory.

Last week we noted that this psalm had significance in the Jewish worship and in particular is associated with the Feast of Passover which is commented on in these verses. In the Feast of Passover, the Jewish nation celebrates that on the last night they were in Egypt, after they had sacrificed a lamb and placed its blood on the doorposts, God passed over their houses and struck dead the firstborn of all the houses of the Egyptians. But because of that, the entire nation of Israel was allowed to be freed from their captivity.

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