Psalm 136:1 "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever."
As another Thanksgiving Day has passed and the Christmas holidays are fast approaching, I think it is a good time to consider who we give thanksgiving to, and why we "give Him thanks."
Psalm 136 has 26 verses each one ends with these words: "His love endures forever." Each line of this psalm of praise speaks of different aspects of God's enduring love. The psalm could have been set up as an "echo" type song. The priest would call out some characteristic of God's love then the worshipers would respond in unison with, "His love endures forever."
The psalm speaks of eight different elements of God's enduring love.
God's goodness. (Verse 1)
Do you know that God is good? In a world of evil, in life where we may experience pain and sorrow, God's goodness is a solid place to rest your faith.
Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
The goodness of God was demonstrated by Jesus Christ as he laid down his life as a ransom for sin. "Give Him thanks."
God is Almighty. (Verses 2-3)
He is the God of Gods, Jesus is called the Lord of Lords. "Give Him thanks."
God is the creator. (Verses 4-9)
All of creation sings praise to God. He made the heavens and the earth. "Give Him thanks."
God is the deliverer. (Verses 10-15)
Israel was delivered from the bondage of Egypt. Believers in Christ are delivered from sin. "Give Him thanks."
God is the protector. (Verses 16-20)
When Israel was moving though the land God gave them, it was by God's mighty hand of protection that they conquered their enemies. The Lord Jesus continues to protect his children from the enemy of our souls. "Give Him thanks."
God is the provider. (Verses 21-22)
God provided for Israel water from a rock, bread from heaven, and all they needed. Jesus said about the needs we have in life, "not to worry because God will provide what you need." Look at the birds and the flowers - they don't worry. God provides for them. Then Jesus gave us the priority of worship.
Matthew 6:33-34 Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (provision) will be given to you as well. "Give Him thanks."
God gives mercy. (Verses 23-25)
The psalm says that God remembers us "in our low estate." God grants mercy to those who do not deserve it, he grants grace to all who call upon the Lord. "Give Him thanks."
God is God. (Verse 26)
Finally our psalm points back to where we started, who God is. Give him thanks because he is God. God who remembers that we are but flesh. God who sent his son as the savior born into a sinful world. God who is good and merciful toward all who receive Jesus Christ as Lord. Can you look at life, and like our psalm says, give Him thanks?
-- Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.