Psalms

Enduring Mercy

Psalm 136

This is a most unique Psalm, as the writer uses constant repetition of the words “for His mercy endureth forever”.  What an amazing reminder that God’s mercy will never give up on us, we should never allow ourselves to forget those simple words.  His mercy will outlast any problem we have, any sickness we have, and inadequacies we have, any difficulties that might come our way.  There is no end to His mercy.  It is so important to remember this when we are in those tough situations in our lives.

The other thing this speaks to me about is how long does my mercy ;last?  I am supposed to be His emissary in this world.  I am supposed to show others the Father, just as Jesus said He did (John 14:9).  We have an obligation to show others what the mercy of God looks like.  What kind of mercy do I show others?  Do I forgive readily?  Do I overlook faults?  It’s time we all do a mercy check in our lives!  Now, on with the psalm.

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.

Give thanks.  Three times he tells us to give thanks. I thank God for His mercy every day.  Going through this cancer, since the very beginning, I have said that God has been very merciful to me.  When I was diagnosed because I had lesions on my bones, I was told that most people have serious back or kidney problems and bone pain before they are diagnosed.  God was merciful.  When doing chemo, I have never had mouth sores – God is merciful.  I had no ill effects from chemo – God was merciful and still is.  When my shoulder decided to not work,  I was thankful I had no pain (they said 88% of people with my condition have pain).  God was merciful.  I could go on and on.  Even in the midst of batting cancer, I knew God had been merciful to me and I could give him thanks.  You too can find His mercy in the midst of your battles if you really look with His mercy in mind.  You to will find that He has been merciful to you  Give thanks at all tines!

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

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

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

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

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

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

The writer turns to creation first.  God made the things that we so desperately out of His mercy for us.  These are things we can give God thanks for no matter what the day is doing or what we are going through.  They are constant.  They appear every day.  They will never fail, just as His mercy won’t.  The psalmist wants us to remember this.  When you look at God’s remarkable creation, think of His mercy, and give Him thanks.

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

There are those who look at God and consider Him a warlord because He is constantly telling His people to defeat their enemy and kill them all.  They look at religion as the cause of most wars.  They do not see a merciful God at all when they see all the death and destruction in thew world, both by people and by natural causes.

I am going to take a new tactic with those people.  Instead of trying to defend God in those situations.  I am going to look at them and say “You are obviously still alive”  Now they have to acknowledge that!  Then I can say “My, God has been merciful to you!”  They will most likely be taken aback by that and ask me how I can say that.  “Easy”, I will say. “With all the calamity you speak of, you are still here.  That is God’s mercy on you”.  I will have no problem defending that position with the most stringent  atheist.

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.

God will totally defeat your enemy.  Totally!  Juts as He annihilated Pharaohs Army in the Red Sea, He will deliver you out of your calamity.  His mercy had not changed.  it remains the same.  He does not want you to be looking over your shoulder, wondering if the enemy will be coming after you.  He wants you moving forward into the vision He has given you and into the plans He has for you.  If you ever start to have thoughts about past sins or past events, that’s the enemy trying to come after you.  Ignore Him!  Shut Him off!  If you give into those thoughts, you are vulnerable.  Allow God to drown them completely, just as He did the Egyptian army.

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

He led them through the wilderness.  He provided light in the nighttime and a cooling cloud during the day.  They moved when the fire or the cloud moved.  For forty years they wandered in the wilderness, following God all the way.  If you are in a trial or test, just tag along with the cloud and the fire of God.  He will lead you through it.  Not around it, not over or under it, but through it.

We want, with all our might, to avoid trials and tests.  But it is through these events that we grow and mature, that we learn and gain wisdom.  And the beauty of it is, that if we yield to these things God will guide us through them all the way.  Our trials become a blessing.  There was a song that really spoke to me a few years ago by Laura Story called “Blessings” that said this as well as any song ever had.

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

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.

God not only led them to victory over their enemies, but He gave them their land as well,  What do you need in your life that the enemy has?  Do you need finances?  God an get it for you.  Do you need health?  God can provide it!  Do you need deliverance from some vice?  God can deliver you and replace it with something better.  There is nothing His mercy cannot do!

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 thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

He redeemed us!  The greatest mercy of all was the giving of His Son, His only Son, to die in our place and redeem us from our sins.  You did not deserve that.  I did not deserve that. yet God did it anyway.  That is His great mercy on display.  Do you see mercy when you look at the cross?  God was not very merciful to His own Son on that cross so He could extend His mercy to us through His Son.  Give thanks unto the God of heaven, for His mercy endureth forever!

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