Psalm 136 Thank Yahweh for who He is and what He does because of His lovingkindness
The Psalmist calls the people to thank LORD (Yahweh) God (Elohim) Lord (adonay) for Who he is, and for what he has done through creation, redemption, provision, and rescue and care; and for what He is doing in the world and in the lives of his people. The repeated refrain “For His lovingkindness is everlasting” highlights Yahweh’s loving faithfulness to his people.
- Key phrase is “for his lovingkindness is forever.” The key word is lovingkindness חֶ֫סֶד chesed=steadfast loving kindness . It concludes each verse (26 times).
- The word lovingkindness (NASB) is the Hebrew word hesed חֶ֫סֶד. It is found 249 times in 239 verses in the Hebrew Bible. Goodness, kindness (BDB); Kindness, lovingkindness, mercy (Strongs 2617); obligation to the community, loyalty, faithfulness, favor, kindness, grace (Halliday); kindness, loving kindness, mercy (TWOT).
Psalm 136, Outline
- Psalm Psalm 136.1-3. Call to give thanks because of who He is. LORD, God of gods, Lord of lords, good, lovingkindness is everlasting.
- Psalm 136.4-25. Call to give thanks because of what He has done: creation, redemption, provision, and care.
- Creation Psalm 136.4-9. Great wonders, made the heavens, spread out the earth, made great lights—sun, moon, stars
- Redemption, Psalm 136.10-20. He is the God of history. Redemptive work for Israel. Egyptians, brought out Israel, divided the Red Sea, made Israel pass through, overthrew Pharaoh and his army, led Israel through the wilderness, smote great kings, slew mighty kings.
- Provision. Psalm 136.21-22. He gave Israel land and heritage.
- Rescue and care. Psalm 136.23-25. Care for His people. He remembered us (Israel), rescued us, gives food to all.
- Psalm 136:26. Concluding doxology. Give thanks to the God of Heaven. Hebrew imperative plural verb יָדָה (yādâ) to throw, to cast. In the hiphil to give thanks, to confess. Why? Because his lovingkindness is everlasting as this psalm has demonstrated.
Psalm 136 teaches us
- Make it a habit to be thankful to the LORD (Yahweh), God (Elohim), to the lord (adonay) and express it in prayer often.
- Thank him for his character—lovingkindness, omniscience, omnipotence in this psalm.
- Thank him for his creation that we see all around us which is finely tuned for life and enjoyment.
- Thank him for plan for Israel, who are his means of redemption and restoration.
- Thank him for his daily provision for His people, for the little things and big things.
New Testament reasons to Thank God
- Congregations receive the word of God from Paul (1 Thessalonians 2.13).
- For the growing faith and the love of those we serve (2 Thessalonians 1.3).
- Believers proclaim their faith (Romans 1.8).
- God gave grace, in Christ Jesus, to others (1 Corinthians 1.4).
- He gives us victory over death, through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15.57).
- For spiritual triumph in different situations (2 Corinthians 2.14).
- The spread of grace to others causes thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 4.15).
- Believers liberally give to the ministry (2 Corinthians 9.11).
- For our spiritual blessings and His great power in our lives (Ephesians 1.3; 3.20-21).
- Others work with us to spread the gospel (Philippians 1.3-5).
- He qualified us to inherit the saints’ portion (Colossians 1.12).
Summary so what? Applications
- We ought to have an attitude of thanksgiving in every circumstance
- When we pray, we ought to pray with thanksgiving.
- We ought to consciously thank God for eternal salvation, Christian life resources, other believers, Christian service, and that God has a plan and purpose for history.
- We ought to thank others when they bless us.
- We ought to thank God for the material blessings in our lives.
- We ought to thank God for our families, friends, church, and opportunities to serve God.
- We ought to thank God that we are citizens of the USA.
- We ought to thank others for their service, strong faith, and kindness.
- We ought to say thank you many times to God and to others.