Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Giving Thanks to a Merciful God

Oh, give thanks to the Lord...for His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 136


My bible reading this morning took me through a lot of scriptures. As I came upon Psalm 136 I started to underline the things this psalmist was praising God for within the context of His mercies towards the Israelite people. If you want to look back to one of my past blogs where I wrote about the Hebrew words that translate into “mercy endures forever”, you can follow this link to the blog titled His Mercy Endures Forever. But for today, I want to concentrate on the things I found myself highlighting and which I bolded for you in psalm below.


As you read through Psalm 136, try to put yourself in the shoes of this psalmist and all of the things he found as reasons to give thanks to the Lord within the context of the loving and merciful relationship the Lord had provided for him and his people. And then take that imagery one step further and when you are done reading, take some time to make a list of the things the Lord has given you in your past which give you reason to thank Him for His enduring mercy extended into your life. (I actually have an on-going list in the back of my bible that I keep for just this sort of occasion.)


“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever:

To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who by wisdom made the heavens,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who laid out the earth above the waters,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who made great lights,
For His mercy endures forever—
The sun to rule by day,
For His mercy endures forever;
The moon and stars to rule by night,
For His mercy endures forever.

To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn,
For His mercy endures forever;
And brought out Israel from among them,
For His mercy endures forever;
With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who divided the Red Sea in two,
For His mercy endures forever;
And made Israel pass through the midst of it,

For His mercy endures forever;
But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who struck down great kings,
For His mercy endures forever;
And slew famous kings,
For His mercy endures forever—
Sihon king of the Amorites,
For His mercy endures forever;
And Og king of Bashan,
For His mercy endures forever—
And gave their land as a heritage,
For His mercy endures forever;
A heritage to Israel His servant,
For His mercy endures forever.

Who remembered us in our lowly state,
For His mercy endures forever;
And rescued us from our enemies,
For His mercy endures forever;
Who gives food to all flesh,
For His mercy endures forever.

Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!
For His mercy endures forever.
” Psalm 136



 When we take a step back and remember all of the ways the Lord has been there for us in the past, it is much easier to rest within His mercy and wisdom which take us day by day through the many obstacles our paths lead us to. Some of the obstacles I have written down in my bible are but small pebbles, like dealing with shingles. But then there have been obstacles that have been great boulders which at times seemed impassable, like the process God took our family through in uprooting us from our previous home to our current home while at the same time completely reorienting our city lifestyle to that of a farming one.

What about your list? If you don't have one started yet make sure to take time today to start writing down a few things God has done in your life out of His enduring mercy towards you. And, make sure you write it some where you will see it from time to time – that is why my list is at the back of my bible. Remembering God's merciful ways towards us brings refreshment to our souls when they grow weary, something we all need from time to time. The road can get weary quickly if we lose sight of the Lord our hearts yearn to follow, but those markers on the path that have been given to us as everlasting pointers to the God who loves us enough to keep extending us mercy are there to pick up our spirits and give us the courage, strength, and focus to keep going no matter how big or small the next obstacle on the path may be.

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