God’s enduring love

Psalm 136 begins and ends with virtually identical verses:

1Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

26Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.(ESV)

In the 24 verses in between there are reminders of all that God has done to be thankful for: from creating the world, to bringing Israel out of slavery in Egypt, to leading them into the wilderness, to giving them victory over their enemies as they came into the Promised Land, all of these blessings mentioned in the Psalm are followed by the phrase, “His steadfast love endures forever.” The strong implication of this Psalm is that God shows his love by what he has done. For further evidence of this, see John 3;16.

The Hebrew word Hesed, is the word that the ESV derives “steadfast love” from. It occurs in each and every verse in Psalm 136. 26 separate times. It declares a fact that we can be eternally thankful for. God’s love is a constant we can depend on. Hesed-Steadfast love is:

Not merely love, but loyal love; not merely kindness, but dependable kindness; not merely affection, but affection that has committed itself … love gives itself in covenant and gladly promises devoted love in that covenant; the covenant partner then rests in the security of that promise and may appeal to it’ (Dale Ralph Davis, I Samuel, p. 207)

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