His Love Endures Forever
"His love endures forever!" Psalm 136
Take a moment and read through Psalm 136 in your Bible, your Bible app, or by jumping HERE.
(For the full audio of this message, just CLICK HERE to listen.)
At first glance, you may think this particular Psalm is rather bland - it's all the same! But look again and notice how it first addresses God's supremacy, then his creative acts in the universe, then how God created a people for himself in the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, then how he provided for those people in the wilderness, and finally how he continually provides for those he calls his own in an ongoing fashion. Wonderful, isn't it? This Psalm is really a liturgy for our lives, where our response to every circumstance is, "His love endures forever."
The love referred to in Psalm 136 is derived from the Hebrew hesed and actually has a lot to do with loyalty and with mercy. It's difficult to translate fully because it's such a rich term. It has less to do with a feeling of love, and more to do with an act of promise-keeping merciful love.
Iain Duguid of Westminster Theological Seminary has this to say about this mercy:
In Psalm 23:6, the psalmist declares that the Lord’s goodness and hesed will pursue him all the days of his life. The word pursue normally describes the action of pillaging armies and covenant curse, but the psalmist is convinced that instead of the covenant curse he deserves, the Lord’s faithful love and goodness will hunt him down relentlessly instead.
The fullness of the Lord’s hesed is seen in the cross: there the true hasid, Jesus Christ Himself—the only human ever truly to be loyal to the Lord and to His neighbor in every aspect of life—was treated as the covenant breaker and cursed for sin so that we who are unfaithful might be clothed in His faithfulness and thus redeemed. In this way, God’s original covenant purpose to have a people for His praise was faithfully accomplished.
The Lord’s hesed will never let us go. In the midst of life’s trials and tragedies, we may cry out to our loving Lord in confidence that nothing in all creation can ever separate us from the loyal love that chose us before time began, is sanctifying us in the present, and will faithfully bring us to our eternal home (Rom. 8:28–30).
At this point we must see Christ in Psalm 136. He is the firstborn son, struck down. As verses 23 & 24 remind us that he remembered us in our humiliation and rescued us, we must also remember that Christ humbled himself even to death, so that our rescue could be secured.
God’s loyalty is shown, and his covenant is kept, in Christ. He is the promise, the apex, the zenith, the top of the heap. All of God’s promises come to fulfillment in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me! HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!
Christ is the mercy of God.
What can we do any better than to open our eyelids in the morning and speak the words: "His love endures forever," and then face the morning with those words, face our tasks for the day with those words, face our trials and victories with those words . . . and then let those words whisper us to sleep at night.