Posts tagged “Psalm 136

Reason for Thanksgiving

Give thanks

Turkey, cranberries, dinner rolls, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, salad.  Breathe.  Dinner plates, napkins, silverware, glasses, AND centerpiece.  THANKSGIVING!  I love this holiday; food, family, and football.    A set time to pause, consider and ponder what we are thankful for.

Thanksgiving.  There are seasons it may be difficult to pull forward on the shelf of our life something to be thankful for. We may have lost a job, or a loved one.  Or our bank account matches our emotional bucket of strength, ’empty’.  Yet there IS something to be thankful for. You have a REASON for thanksgiving.  The great Psalm of thanks opens with, “Give thanks to the LORD for He is good.” (Ps. 136)   The Hebrew language renders a beautiful word picture, “Give thanks…” offers the idea of a reverent acknowledgment and of worship – with extended hands.

His love endures forever.” The author found it needful to repeat this phrase 26 times throughout the rest of the Psalm.  This word love (in Hebrew) is ‘hesed’.  We know it biblically as mercy, goodness, loyalty and steadfast love and even … grace.  What a pivotal word.

This mercy-filled (undeserved) love is enveloped in personal involvement and commitment to relationship.  God is pleased when it is reciprocated “For I delight in loyalty (hesed) rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6) Our Lord desires faithful love and covenantal commitment.  With this, His lovingkindness is precious (Ps. 36:7) marvelous (Ps. 17:7) undeserving (Ps. 103) abounding (Ps. 86:5) reviving (Ps.119:159) satisfying (Ps. 90:14) and everlasting (Ps. 103:17).  THAT is our God! Thankful yet?

David’s well known and beloved Psalm 23 (verse 6) “Surely goodness and MERCY will follow me all the days of my life” (mercy is hesed) This ‘follow’ is not a mere tag along behind, but … PURSUIT.  David knows the concept of pursuit.  God’s unending – steadfast love full of mercy pursued David. He pursues us!  He pursues YOU. He is unrelenting.  Aren’t you GLAD He does not let go!   Reason for thanksgiving indeed!  “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.  His love endures forever.”

As we share around the table amongst the laughter and love, the blessings of health and family, may we too raise a hand “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.  Let the redeemed of the LORD say so…” (Ps. 107:1-2a)

Thankful.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)

 


There is MORE!

I am remembering a time my husband and I were visiting a church when the pastor, full of Pentecostal energy shared vigorously from Psalm 136.  Twenty-six times the Psalmist declares, “His mercy endures forever.” Oh, it does!  God’s mercy is unending. Matchless in every way, it can be seen from the beginning of mankind’s existence and has no vanishing point in the future.  Within the 15 minutes of sharing, the pastor repeated the blessing of God’s mercy, then “In closing…”  He said, “His mercy endures forever.”  As the folks stood to leave, preparing for the trek home to the roast in the Crockpot, I wanted so BADLY to stand to my feet and yell, Tell them!” (All eyes on the crazy visitor lady in the back.)   There’s more!  Pastor!  Don’t stop here!

Tell them that the Hebrew language is full of imagery, YES mercy! But there is more.  Just like there is ‘sunrise’ with just a glimpse of light peeking over the horizon, then there is SUNRISE with colors so vibrant you stare in unbelief at the magnitude of the brilliance of His creation. Colors spilling over each other as it dances across the sky in tones that if we are still enough, quiet… it could be heard.  Today, with the Pastors’ sharing, we were just …peeking.

His mercy endures forever. Mercy is ‘hesed’ (in the Hebrew)  Scholars find it extremely difficult to translate into English because there really is not an equivalent word. The King James Version alone uses 15 different words in an attempt to express its meaning in each context.  Words such as lovingkindness, steadfast love, loyal love, kindness, faithful love, mercy and yes, grace.  Grace. God’s mercy is withholding what we do deserve, where His grace is giving us what we do not. One hand pushes forward in giving, while the other holds back in restraint.  Divine coordination -THAT is our God!  Because of His love for us, His commitment to covenant, His value of relationship, our God interacts with hesed. It is deep, wide and continuing.

Jonah knew God’s hesed, saying to the Lord, “O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love (hesed), a God who relents from sending calamity.” (Jonah 4:2)  Ok, maybe Jonah needed an attitude adjustment, (Thus the large fish story) but he knew, he understood, experienced and observed how God operates.

Yes indeed, it is worthy of repeating in twenty-six verses, “His mercy endures forever.”   His lovingkindness, faithfulness, love and His grace.  It is enough to make us bow our head, eyes closed with groanings that cannot be uttered!

Stand in the glow of His brilliant sunrise!

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)


Thankful

THANKSGIVING!  I love this holiday of food – family – fun, and football – a set time to pause and ponder thankfulness.  There are seasons that may be difficult to pull forward on the shelf of our life, wondering if there is something – anything to be thankful for?  We may have lost a job or a loved one, or our bank account matches our emotional bucket of strength – empty.  Yet there IS something to be thankful for, we indeed have the reason for thankfulness!  The great Psalm of thanks opens with, “Give thanks to the LORD for He is good…” (Psalm 136)  That alone is enough.

“Give thanks to the LORD for He is good. His love endures forever…”  The author found it needful to repeat ‘His love endures forever’ 26 times throughout the Psalm.  This Hebrew word love is ‘hesed’ (a guttural, ‘H-said’ )  we know it biblically as mercy, goodness, loyalty, steadfast love and even grace.  What a pivotal word, a pivotal attribute all rolled up and woven into one magnificent GOD!  The Psalms poetically describe His lovingkindness as precious (36:7) marvelous (17:7) undeserving (103) abounding (86:5) reviving (119:159) satisfying (90:14) and everlasting (103:17).  Are we thankful yet?

King David’s well known and beloved Psalm 23 (verse 6) “Surely goodness and MERCY (hesed) will follow me all the days of my life.” David writes this at the end of his life, he once the shepherd – has now and is being shepherded.   This ‘follow’ is not a mere tag along behind, but PURSUIT! The Shepherding God’s unending – steadfast love full of mercy pursued David. That same mercy, the same goodness pursues us, pursues YOU!  He is unrelenting.  The divine love of God is steady – sure – persistent and FULL of refusal to let go.  Aren’t you glad He does not let go!  (Thankful!)

As we share around the table amongst the declarations of health and love of family, and a few glee-filled shouts of  “TOUCHDOWN!”  may we ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good.  His love endures forever!’

Thanksgiving.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)