If you are going through the Five Psalms/One Proverb reading plan, you would have spent some time this week with Psalm 136 and may have been struck with the phrase repeated 26 times: “for His steadfast love endures forever.” Every single verse uses the same phrase, reiterating this truth as it is paired with other aspects of who God is. It struck me as I read it this week that if you take out that phrase, you still have verse after verse of thanksgiving and praise to our great God, but adding that phrase drives home that in His strength and power, in His sovereignty, in His provision…through all of it we need to be reminded “His steadfast love endures forever.”
We should be thinking of two things when we read this Psalm. In Hebrew a repeated phrase increases its emphasis and magnitude. After repeating this 26 times it is clear that the Psalmist wants us to know that the love of God is not wavering, nor does it have limit. This means no action can diminish, limit, or surpass the love of our creator-God. Second, as we pray through this Psalm we are reminded that there are going to be days where we need to be told 26 times God loves us:
I am feeling discouraged at work, but His steadfast love endures forever.
The budget isn’t balancing the way it should this month, but His steadfast love endures forever.
I feel emotional distance from my spouse, but His steadfast love endures forever.
My children have rejected the faith, but His steadfast love endures forever.
My friends and I cannot come to agreement, but His steadfast love endures forever.
The government is not behaving the way it should, but His steadfast love endures forever.
I feel alone, but His steadfast love endures forever.
Today, take time to read this Psalm again… pray through it as you face the challenges God has given you. Be reminded that while we have indeed been promised adversity, His steadfast love endures forever.
For His Glory,