APRIL 24

 

Read | Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

     His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods.

     His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords:

     His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders,

     His love endures forever.

who by his understanding made the heavens,

     His love endures forever.

who spread out the earth upon the waters,

     His love endures forever.

who made the great lights—

     His love endures forever.

the sun to govern the day,

     His love endures forever.

the moon and stars to govern the night;

     His love endures forever.

to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt

     His love endures forever.

and brought Israel out from among them

     His love endures forever.

with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;

     His love endures forever.

to him who divided the Red Sea asunder

     His love endures forever.

and brought Israel through the midst of it,

     His love endures forever.

but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;

     His love endures forever.

to him who led his people through the wilderness;

     His love endures forever.

to him who struck down great kings,

     His love endures forever.

and killed mighty kings—

     His love endures forever.

Sihon king of the Amorites

     His love endures forever.

and Og king of Bashan—

     His love endures forever.

and gave their land as an inheritance,

     His love endures forever.

an inheritance to his servant Israel.

     His love endures forever.

He remembered us in our low estate

     His love endures forever.

and freed us from our enemies.

     His love endures forever.

He gives food to every creature.

     His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven.

     His love endures forever.

Respond | Ryan Pearce

I don’t know about you, but when I was in chemistry class in high school, one of the things that I knew would help me to remember the formulas I needed to know for the tests was repeatedly writing them down, working through the formulas as I practiced what I needed to know. I would spend hours writing them on a whiteboard or a piece of paper, terrified that I might forget them when I needed them.

 

In many respects, Psalm 136 is the Judeo-Christian version of writing formulas out over and over again to memorize them. The psalmist has one thing they want their audience remember— God’s nature is one who steadfastly loves. He will never leave nor forsake Israel. To prove their point, the psalmist takes the singers on a tour de force of Israel’s Exodus story, pointing out all the times where God intervened in it, reminding them by sheer repetition of God’s character.

 

Like Israel, Christian’s claim God’s steadfast love as the root of our story, one of the core tenants of God’s character. As we stand in the shadow of the Easter that felt like it was not really Easter, we mourn, lament, cry out, and wonder how long we can endure, but Psalm 136 confronts us with the reality we don’t want to see at times: God is steadfast and hasn’t stopped actively loving us.

 

Loving God, in this world where Easter has come and gone, yet your work seems to be overlooked and unseen, give me eyes to see where you have been moving in my life, my family’s life, and our world. Inspire me to sing ‘your steadfast love endures forever.’ Amen.

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