Psalm 136



Psalm 136


The Love and Mercy of God

Revealed


Hesed




Thousands of years ago

the psalms were sung.


The psalms were sung to music.


Many theologians think that
this psalm
may have had
a choir singing the
"for his mercy endureth forever" part
in answer to
a designated singer or group of singers
singing the first of every verse.


Take note that the full psalm

is written out at the bottom of the page.


God's Mercy and Love


We can easily see that every verse in this psalm

in the King James Version

has the following refrain:


"For his mercy endureth for ever"


The Hebrew word translated "mercy" is

Hesed

which can be spelled in English several different ways.


In this psalm, Hesed is translated

"Mercy."



It can also be translated

goodness, or love, or lovingkindness.


When I was in seminary, one of my professors loved talking about the Hebrew word "Hesed."

It appeared to be his favorite topic.


He talked in warm and awe-inspiring tones

about the full meaning of God's Hesed.


God's Hesed can be defined as:


Unfailing love, continuous love,

strong love,

powerful love, abounding love,

everlasting love


It is a merciful love.

It is a personal love implying personal involvement with us.


Mercy = Steadfast love = Hesed


God's love is a love that will not let us go all the days of our life.


God loves us.

God pursues us.

God woos us.


Every day God gives

unbelievers

the opportunity

to accept Jesus as

Savior and Lord of our life.


The Hesed of God should provoke genuine gratitude.


Psalm 136 - the Hesed Psalm


The Hebrew word "Hesed" is used 248 times

in the Old Testament.

~ ~ ~

It is used 127 times in Psalms.

And it is used 26 times in Psalm 136.


It is found in each of the 26 verses of Psalm 136.




God's Hesed

~

As a dedicated follower of God,

thinking about

God's Hesed

makes me

feel

safe, secure, accepted, and

at peace.



Verses 1-3


O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks unto the God of gods:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks to the Lord of lords:
for his mercy endureth for ever.


As we look at the first three verses, we read that we are to thank God because he is:

Good

God of gods

Lord of lords


Take note that in the Hebrew language:


God of gods

means

the highest God.

~ ~ ~

Lord of lords

means

the highest Lord.


- - -


When you say ______ of _______

it means the highest one.


Verses 4-9


4 To him who alone doeth great wonders:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

7 To him that made great lights:
for his mercy endureth for ever:

8 The sun to rule by day:
for his mercy endureth for ever:

9 The moon and stars to rule by night:
for his mercy endureth for ever.


As you look at verses 4-9, it is obvious that God is reminding us of the creation week.


God does wonders

such as making the heavens and the earth.


It is uplifting

to think about the wonders that God does.


V-I-C-T-O-R-Y


We are better able to live

 - victoriously

when we

remind ourselves of the great wonders of God.




Psalm 19

tells us that

the heavens

give us the knowledge

that there is a God. 




God made
the sun to rule by day
and the moon and stars to rule by night.


And of course the one who made them
is the True and Everlasting Ruler.


Verses 10-16


10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn:
for his mercy endureth for ever:

11 And brought out Israel from among them:
for his mercy endureth for ever:

12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts:
for his mercy endureth for ever:

14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it:
for his mercy endureth for ever:

15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

16 To him which led his people through the wilderness:
for his mercy endureth for ever.


This section of verses (10-16) 

remind us of the days of Moses.


The story of the life of Moses

explodes

with amazing miracles that tell of

God's love to those who follow him.




God even loved the Egyptians

who were not following him.

~

The miracles he did in front of the Egyptians

made it clear that HE was the real God.

~

  God extended an open invitation

to the Egyptians to follow him.

And some did.


See Ex. 9:20

and

Ex. 12:38 -

Some Egyptians left with Moses and the Israelites.



As we look at this section of verses,

each step along the way,

God wants us to remember his deep love.


God is a God of love. God is a God of Justice.

God wouldn't be loving if he never punished sin.


Think about a situation where someone murdered your loved one and God did nothing to punish that unrepentant sinner. You would then realize that God wouldn't be just if he did not judge sin.

God's love is amazing, and it is available to each person.


Romans 1:20 tells us that God uses the heavens to let everyone know that there is a God and that we should follow him. Then Romans chapter one continues by explaining that God is not only loving but also just.


The Bible is a love letter

seeking to woo each person to love and follow God

before it is too late.


When God reaches out to draw a person into conviction and ultimately eternal salvation, he never guarantees that he will give that person another chance. 

God gives many chances but at some point, one of the chances is the last chance. We never know when that will be.

Verses 17 - 26


17 To him which smote great kings:
for his mercy endureth for ever:

18 And slew famous kings:
for his mercy endureth for ever:

19 Sihon king of the Amorites:
for his mercy endureth for ever:

20 And Og the king of Bashan:
for his mercy endureth for ever:

21 And gave their land for an heritage:
for his mercy endureth for ever:

22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

23 Who remembered us in our low estate:
for his mercy endureth for ever:

24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

25 Who giveth food to all flesh:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

26 O give thank unto the God of heaven:
for his mercy endureth for ever.


Psalm 136:19-21 highlights two great kings - Sihon and Og.

- - -

These powerful kings were conquered by Moses

and the Israelites

as they followed God.


A Pattern to Increase Faith


We see a pattern in Psalm 136 that extends from Psalm 135.

Actually the pattern even includes the Pharaoh of Egypt which is mentioned in Psalm 136 and Psalm 135. 

The pattern is to mention the victories of God over the Egyptian Pharaoh, then Sihon, then Og. We see that pattern in both Psalm 136 and Psalm 135.

Psalm 135:11 "Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan; And He gave their land as a heritage, A heritage to Israel His people.

Note that Deuteronomy 29:7 also proclaims the victories over Sihon and Og by God through the people who followed God. Verse 9 seems to be connecting and using the victories to promote the idea of remembering the victories in order to remember to follow God in the future.


Rahab


In the miraculous story of Rahab and the city of Jericho, Rahab is a resident of Jericho.


Rahab tells the spies who sent by Joshua,
that
  - she knew  -
all about the victories
of the Egyptian Pharaoh, King Sihon, and King Og. 


(The story of Jericho takes place after Moses died and Joshua became the leader of the people.)

Rahab follows the pattern, as we see here:


Joshua 2:9-11 says,

"And she [Rahab]  said unto the men,
I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and
your terror is fallen upon us, and
that all the inhabitants of the land faint
because of you.
For we have
heard
how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you,
when ye came out of Egypt;
and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites
that were on the other side Jordan,
Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man,
because of you:
for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above,
and in earth beneath."



From the Scripture above,

we see that the peoples of the region

were in awe of God

because of the defeat of the Egyptian Pharaoh,

and

because of the destruction of Sihon and Og.

~

Those rulers were impressive kings,

and their defeat

got the attention

of the other people groups in the area.


I believe that God is showing us in the book of Joshua

that

He gained great respect

from the people of the region

because of the great kings that

He defeated using Moses and the Israelites.


I also believe that God expected Moses

-  and later Joshua - 

and the Israelite people

to be at least as impressed

with Him (God)

as

the heathens were.


That respect for God and his power

was meant to carry the Israelites

through all their future trials as well.


Let's think back to Moses

Let's go back to the leadership of Moses


When Moses was still alive, he sent out 10 spies to the land of Canaan to give a report. As you recall, 8 of the spies said that there were giants in the land, and they did not want to try to conquer this land.  Only two of the spies (Joshua and Caleb) trusted God and were ready to take the land.

Remembering what Rahab said years later, we can assume that even in the time of Moses, the victories of the Pharaoh, Sihon, and Og were respected by the people in the region.

But in the minds of God's own people, HIS people had begun to doubt His power.

Doubting God goes all the way back to the garden of Eden when the serpent planted seeds of doubt in Eve's mind.

Eight of the spies that Moses sent out allowed doubt in their minds. Their doubt influenced all the other people in camp. The people heard the doubts, and then they doubted God's power.

God expects us today

to hear the stories of the victory

of the Egyptian Pharaoh, Sihon, and Og

and be

impressed

and from those stories,

we grow our respect toward God and his power.


God expects those stories

to still produce

faith in God.




Today, God wants you and me

 - to think about -

the victories of God

that are given in the Bible

and

 - grow stronger in our faith -

in the God of the universe.


FAITH


That faith will help us conquer the trials

we face in our life.


Also see Joshua 9:9-10


Verses 21 - 26

The psalm concludes

by reminding us of God's protection and provision.


He is God - the only God -

and his Hesed is always with us.

He protects us and provides for us.

He is the God of heaven.

His desire is for us to draw near to him.



Finding God's Hesed




As we read through this psalm,

we see that God has written it

so that we are taken

through a quick history of many important events.


AS we read the psalm,

we are guided to continually remember

God's Hesed.



Even in our own life - 

as we look back through all our personal trials and difficulties, we are to look carefully and find

God's Hesed.


In the Scripture below
"Love and kindness"
is translated from the word
"Hesed"

For though the mountains should depart and the hills be shaken or removed, yet
My love and kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace and completeness be removed, says the Lord,
Who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 54:10 AMP


Be sure and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page

because there is more to come.


As I was finishing this page, I did some online searching.
I found the article below.

I know nothing about the website or the author of the article.
I am not endorsing anything.
I just thought this article had some good points.

Cut and paste:

http://ourrabbijesus.com/2012/05/02/hesed-enduring-eternal-undeserved-love/


I will disagree with the article by saying:

I think the article took romance out of the equation unnecessarily.

Here is my response to that:


Falling in Love with God


Discovering a Prayer Pattern


This section is written a few days
after I posted this page on the internet.

This morning as soon as I woke up, I began talking to God. During our conversation, I was excitedly talking about two miracles he had done for me in the past couple of days. I said, “God, thank you for such and such, and thank you for such and such.”

I heard in my head, “For His mercy endureth forever.”

I knew immediately what God was trying to tell me. A few days ago, I posted a page about Psalm 136 (the page you, the reader, are now reading). In every verse of Psalm 136, there is a thought and then there are the words “For His mercy endureth forever.”

I had not consciously realized that this was a prayer pattern that God was giving to us to use in our personal prayers – until today!

Now with my new understanding, I began to thank God for one thing after another - and after each thing, I said, “For His mercy endureth forever.” I thanked him for things he had done recently, and I thanked him for things he had done in my past. I thanked him for family and friends. I thanked and thanked.

I learned a long time ago, that if I wanted to stay close to God, I needed to add lots of thankfulness into my relationship with God. And today I was stirred up with thankfulness.

Examples of the pattern:

  • “Lord, thank you for such and such, for your mercy endureth forever.”
  • “God, you have blessed me with such and such, for your mercy endureth forever.”
  • “God has given me such and such, for his mercy endureth forever.”
  • “My loving God has healed me of such and such, for his mercy endureth forever.”


A few years ago I realized that Psalm 100 has a
prayer pattern in it.
I wrote about that pattern on a page called
Thanksgiving Bible Study.


Psalm 136


Psalm 136 KJV


O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.

3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.

5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.

6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.

7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:

8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:

9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.

10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:

11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:

12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.

13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:

14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:

15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.

16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.

17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

18 And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:

20 And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:

21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:

22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.

23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:

24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.

25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.

26 O give thank unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

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