Today the psalmist of Psalm 136 gives thanks to the Lord for creation, the exodus of His people from Egypt, and His protection of the Israelites in the wilderness. Each time the psalmist thanks the Lord he says, “For His mercy endures forever.”
Oxford Languages defines mercy as “forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.” Because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to the Lord back in the garden which resulted in the fall, we are all born with a sin nature deserving of death. Paul later explains how we are deserving of death because of the failure of one man, Adam, but the Lord redeems us with the gift of salvation through the works of another Man, His Son Jesus – “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:18-21). This is mercy that endures forever! We deserve death, but instead eternal life is available by grace through faith for anyone who trusts in the atoning sacrifice of the Lord’s own Son.
The remaining psalms that we read today all begin by saying “Praise the Lord!” Each psalmist lists reasons why the Lord is worthy of our praise:
- “Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; but the way of the wicked He turns upside down” (Psalm 146:6-9).
- “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. The Lord lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground” (Psalm 147:3-6).
- “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation” (Psalm 149:4).
We should praise the Lord for He beautifies the humble with salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, by His mercy that endures forever! Therefore, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150:6).
That concludes the psalms. Tomorrow Isaiah is back to warning the nations, so keep reading. (Psalm 136, Psalm 146-150)