Sermons

Summary: Part one of looking at Psalm 136 and the Forever love of God.

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“Forever”

July 23, 2006

Today we are going to look at the eternal nature and character of God. It is so easy for us to view God and his work in the life of individuals as long ago events that hold no significance for us today. It is difficult at times to understand that not only is God the same God, but his character, his nature, his power and his heart have never changed.

It is also interesting to note that the basic heart and character of humanity is not much different today as it was when the scripture was originally written. It is easy for man to be distracted by the lure of other gods and the desires of this world.

Psalm 136 is a psalm that was used in the ancient Jewish worship as they ascended the hill to the temple area. It was associated very closely with the Feast of the Passover celebrating the Jewish release from slavery in Egypt. At its core, the psalm breaks down into five separate sections that each have a specific theme and aspect of worship.

“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)

Today we want to look at the first two individual parts of this Psalm and see how it relates to our lives.

This psalm starts with a very familiar theme as many other psalms: giving thanks to God. The difference is that this psalm has after each initial stanza the same refrain: His love endures forever.

The Hebrew word for “love” is hesed.

The meaning is loving kindness or grace.

It is used over 240 times in the Old Testament and is almost always linked with the concept of mercy.


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