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If you’ve ever tried to remember someone’s phone number, or perhaps directions, you know how you repeat it over and over to yourself until it “sticks.” To be honest, the older I get, the less “sticky” my brain seems to be. Nevertheless, repetition is one of the best ways to get something deep down inside. Our God is well aware both of how that works in us, and how in the aftermath of the Fall – spiritual truths seem more difficult to find permanent lodging in our consciousness. It is why passages like Psalm 136 exist.
More on that today on Through the Word in 2020.
I’m your host, Reid Ferguson.
At the end of Ezekiel 40:44-43:12 – God tells the prophet to be sure he writes down all he has seen and to describe it to His people, so that they really get what God is all about. In Revelation 2:1-11, we twice hear what will close every one of the 7 letters to the Churches: “he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churchES” – plural. Make note of it. Don’t let it slip. And in John 8:12-38 the passage begins with “again Jesus spoke to them.” We need vital spiritual truth repeated to us over and over and over.
So, of the 26 verses in Psalm 136, the statement that His steadfast love endures forever, occurs in every one of them. If you didn’t get the message the first time, you should by the end.
What is of particular note, is the variety of contexts in which His enduring, steadfast love is being evoked.
In verse 1, it is simply because God is good. In His steadfast love enduring forever, we realize then that His goodness endures forever – as a manifestation of His steadfast love.
In verse 2, it is His supremacy as the God of gods – or His being absolutely supreme over all which invokes a remembrance of His steadfast love. It is a supreme love.
In 3, we have a Lord above all other lords with whom we may have to do – and His steadfast love endures forever.
In 4, He is the one who does great wonders; in 5 the One who made the heavens by a thoughtful, purposeful design. In 6 He was wise in the separation of earth and water, and in 7, how He appointed the cycle and characteristics of day and night.
Once again, we are asked to consider all of these as products of an everlasting and enduring love.
Even when fleeing from their enemies, or being delivered from them by miraculous means, when there is judgment poured out, and when provision is made. In every act, under all circumstances, in the deepest depths and in the highest heights, He is a God who is so full of love, so steadfast and sure, that His love will endure to all generations, and prevail in every circumstance.
Dark days attended God’s people. But their God did not change. Mighty upheavals and changes occurred. But still He remained the same. In His rescuing the Jews from Egypt, and we from our sin – in every place and at all times, no matter how extreme or mild, pleasant or unbearable – Our God’s steadfast love endures forever.
It can never be shaken. And it is never to be interpreted as less than it is because of outward or inward turmoil of any kind.
Seasons change. Circumstances change. We change. Our feelings, hopes, aspirations and reasonings change. But His steadfast love endures forever.
Maybe if we hear it 26, 27 or 27,000 times – we’ll finally get it.
Maybe, if He repeats it enough, it will finally sink in.
But whether we get it or not – the truth remains dear one: His steadfast love, endures – forever.
This is all the Christian’s hope and joy in Christ.
God willing, we’ll be back Monday.