Friday, May 24, 2013

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever



Scripture:

Psa. 136:1      ¶ O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
        for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psa. 136:2     O give thanks to the God of gods,
        for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psa. 136:3     O give thanks to the Lord of lords,
        for his steadfast love endures forever;
 
Psa. 136:4      ¶ who alone does great wonders,
        for his steadfast love endures forever;
Psa. 136:5     who by understanding made the heavens,
        for his steadfast love endures forever;
Psa. 136:6     who spread out the earth on the waters,
        for his steadfast love endures forever;
Psa. 136:7     who made the great lights,
        for his steadfast love endures forever;
Psa. 136:8     the sun to rule over the day,
        for his steadfast love endures forever;
Psa. 136:9     the moon and stars to rule over the night,
        for his steadfast love endures forever;


Observation:

As Solomon's Temple was completed there was a time of dedication.  The musicians were instructed to play and sing "The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever."  This was to be repeated time and again.  Here we find the same phrase within this Psalm.  While singing about the great works of God, every attribute of God is reinforced with the phrase, "his steadfast love endures forever." 

Application:

This Psalm becomes a template for us when it comes to our worship and prayer.  We must take time to focus on the good things of God and worship him for who he is and what he has accomplished.  Too often we leave out the praise of God and jump right to the requests.  But when the people of God begin to stop and pray into his very nature we become overwhelmed with who this is that we are worshiping.  Our own self-centeredness tends to take the focus away from God, and on ourselves.  This is why we want worship in church to be the way we like it and our prayer time becomes a litany of requests.  Instead, our focus should be on God, on who he is, and thanking and praising him for what he has done.  When this happens the focus of attention is God, and not us!

The line which is repeated over and over again in this Psalm is truly a reminder of who God is -- of his very nature.  God's nature is eternal, holy love.  We are invited to be partakers of this divine nature, to participate in this nature together with God.  And so this Psalm is a reminder to praise God for who he is, but it is also a reminder of God's intent for us.  If we are to participate with God in his nature, then his steadfast love is what should define us. 

When I think about the word "steadfast" somehow my mother comes to mind.  My mother has always been a rock.  The quality of her character goes right to the core.  She is a holy woman of God; and a hard-working woman of God at that.  Her life has been so consistent before me that I understand the word "steadfast."  God is steadfast as well, his nature is who he is, all the way to the core.  God's nature does not change.

God is steadfast in love.  I have to stop and ponder that a moment.  I think that we have a hard time comprehending the love of God.  It's so much more than human love.  There is a depth that is beyond our comprehension.  The Psalmist sang about all the things that God had done, and yet that wasn't enough to describe God's steadfast love.  God has been reaching out to humanity in steadfast love from the Garden of Eden to this day.  Evidence of his love surrounds us on a daily basis.  This includes the stars in the sky and the beautiful spring flowers budding in the fields.  Everything cries out to us that God loves us! 

And this love from God will never ever go away.  Even in the midst of our difficulties we can be assured that his love will be eternal.  Even in Tornado torn communities such as Moore, Oklahoma God's eternal love endures and reaches out to every single individual.  Even in the midst of a funeral for your dearly loved spouse, the eternal love of God is present.  And this love draws us into God's future, a place that he is already preparing for us where his love will continue to stretch out infinitely.  No, not even in heaven will we fully comprehend the steadfast and eternal love of God.  We will simply be invited to continue to participate in the experience and nature of God for all of eternity, for "his steadfast love endures forever."

Prayer:

Lord, I praise you for your steadfast love which endures forever.  Amen.

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