Psalm 136:3-5 - Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for His steadfast love endures forever; to Him who alone does great wonders, for His steadfast love endures forever; to Him who by understanding made the heavens, for His steadfast love endures forever.
In our worship services, we often repeat responses such as "The Lord be with you ... And with your spirit." Some of the hymns we sing have refrains repeated at the end of each verse. It is apparent from Scripture that God's people have been responding to one another in this way in worship for a very long time. In our psalm, the same words of praise are repeated in every verse: "For His steadfast love endures forever."
The steadfast, enduring love of the Lord of lords is revealed in the great wonders that God alone can do. The psalm gives us a detailed list of many of those wonders. By His Word, the Lord created the heavens and the earth. He made the sun, moon, and stars. The psalm then continues by describing the wonders done by God in the history of Israel. He "struck down the firstborn of Egypt" and "brought Israel out" of slavery (Psalm 136:10-11). God divided the Red Sea so that Israel could cross, passing safely through on dry land. The Lord of lords overthrew Pharaoh and his armies. God led His people through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. God fought for His people, striking down enemy kings and giving the land to Israel as their heritage. He remembered and rescued His people. Why did the Lord of lords do these great wonders for Israel?
You know the answer: "For His steadfast love endures forever."
If we were to compose our own verses of praise and thanksgiving, what details would we include? For what events would we offer thanks to God? How has His steadfast, enduring love been revealed to us? In a wondrous mystery, the God of Israel, the Lord of lords, took on human flesh and was born among us to be our Savior. Jesus suffered and died on the cross, striking down sin, death, and Satan to set us free from slavery to sin. The crucified Savior rose up from death in triumph, and our crucified and risen Lord leads us through the "wilderness" of this earthly life. He cares for us and guides us with His love. He sustains us by His Word and nourishes us with His Holy Supper, forgiving and restoring us for the ongoing journey. When we come to the end of that journey, we have Jesus' sure and certain promise: "Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die" (John 11:25b-26).
Why has He done all of this for us? You know the answer: "For His steadfast love endures forever."
Finally, when Jesus returns on the Last Day, He will raise us bodily from our graves as He was raised. God our Creator will make new heavens and a new earth and welcome us into His eternal presence. There before His throne we may offer up in praise the refrain we know so well: "For His steadfast love endures forever!"
THE PRAYER: Lord God, Your wonders are beyond counting. We praise You for the enduring, steadfast love revealed in Jesus our Savior. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Do you have a favorite author or two who writes about living a God-praising life?
2. Why is it significant that God's steadfast love endures forever?
3. Complete this sentence: "I experienced God's enduring love last week when I _______."
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