God’s Everlasting Love
Read Psalm 136.
“For his loving kindness is everlasting”
Psalm 136 is a psalm that provides a snapshot overview of the history of Israel and all humanity. The Psalms begins with a remind of God’s supremacy that is the only true God that reigns over the universe. Then he moves from the throne of heaven to his creative work on earth. In a few verses he recounts that God is the creator and the one who brought all things into existence both in the heavens and on the earth merely with a spoken word. But God not only demonstrated his power in creation, he demonstrated it in the redemption of his people as he delivers them from their bondage. This work in the Exodus event was significant, for it served to provide a picture of God’s redemptive work in Christ when Christ brought the hope of salvation to all those who were captured by sin. But then the Psalmist brings us to the despair of God discipline and judgment when he not only brought his severe judgment upon the nations of Canaan, but even his disciplining hand upon Israel themselves as they rebelled against him. Because of their refusal to trust in God’s word, they sent to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. However, the discipline of God did not mean the abandonment of God. For when things looked the darkest for Israel, God again brought deliverance and rescued them from their adversaries.
However, the Psalm is not about the history of Israel or the history of the people of the earth through all its ups and downs. For there is a phrase repeated constantly like the steady pounding of a drum serving to move us from the course and uncertainty of life’s experiences to the one thing remaining constant through all things. The phrase provides an anthem of celebration of the lovingkindness of God. When we think of love, we think of it in terms of an emotional response. But the love spoken here is far deeper and more pregnant with meaning. The word speaks of the commitment that God makes to his people in the covenants he makes with them. It is a commitment that he affirms in his fidelity to his people even with they demonstrate disloyalty to him. It is a love that is not static but active. It is a love that moves God to action because he himself has pledged his love to us even when we are not deserving of it. It is this love that becomes constant through all the upheaval of life, through times of deliverance, times of God’s discipline, and times of uncertainty. In these times of insecurity there is one thing that remains constant; God’s deep abiding commitment to his loyalty to us because of the covenant he made through the work of Christ on the cross. For the Psalmist this becomes the basis of his joy and gratitude. Today, spend time just expressing your gratitude to God for his lovingkindness that is not fickle nor temporary nor even conditional, but rather is eternal. When you start feeling the strain of the affairs of the day, remember his lovingkindness is everlasting.