Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Everlasting Mercy Seen in the Created World - Psalm 136 (part 3)

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
for His lovingkindness is everlasting....

To Him who alone does great wonders,
for His lovingkindness is everlasting;
to Him who made the heavens with skill,
for His lovingkindness is everlasting;
to Him who spread out the earth above the waters,
for His lovingkindness is everlasting;
to Him who made the great lights,
for His lovingkindness is everlasting;
the sun to rule by day,
for His lovingkindness is everlasting,
the moon and stars to rule by night,
for His lovingkindness is everlasting."
(Psalm 136:1, 5-9)

For the past two posts I've been slowly stopping to savor the encouragements to praise and thanksgiving that are found here in Psalm 136. First, we are moved to grateful devotion due to the wonderfully repetitive reality of God's everlasting loving-kindness - which just keeps giving and giving and giving. Second, we are moved to reverent thanksgiving simply because of who our God is - Jehovah, the good God, the God of all gods, the Lord of all lords.

Let us give thanks - continually - to this glorious God!!

Verses 5-9 contain the next classified grouping in this psalm. As verses 1-3 pressed us to praise the Lord for the greatness and goodness of His character so the rest of the psalm will press us to praise Him for His deeds.

These next 5 verses look specifically at the majesty of God as Maker of heaven and earth and at the splendor of Him as the Sustainer of all that is.
Our God is a God who alone works wonders. It is He who spoke all that is into existence with only a word (Genesis 1). He has made the heavens with skill. The heavens do indeed tell the glory of our God - in their beauty and in the perfection of their design. The skill of our God is evident in the placing of the planets in proportion to the sun, in the chemical makeup of each planet's atmosphere, in the necessary nuances of varying gravitational pulls in order to sustain life here on earth. He has spread out the earth with purpose - to give us our purpose which is to glorify Him.

He has made the sun and the moon and the stars. The sun which gives off light and heat and the moon which reflects that light with such beauty. Oh that we would be as the moon - a reflection of the life giving power of our gracious God!

In creation "we see not only His wisdom and power, but we taste His mercy in their benign influences" (Henry). We see His compassion in the rain as it refreshes a parched land. We see His care for us in the cool breeze. We see His power in the storm. We see His beauty in the blooming of the flowers and sense the eternality of Him in trying to count the grains of sand on the seashore. On and on and on the list continues. "All I have seen helps me to trust my Creator for all I have not seen!"

The God whom we are to give thanks to is the God who has made all and sustains all. Will you give thanks to Him with me this day? Look about, look around...look to the splendor of the heavens and the myriads of galaxies that it contains, meditate on the microscopic life which is teeming under the rocks in your yard, gaze long and hard at that ant recognizing that it has a neurological and cardiovascular system, pause to think of the wonder of your own children. Creation points us to the Creator and it clearly calls us to praise Him!

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His loving-kindness is everlasting."

In His glorious grace,

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