PSALM 136:1-26

In 1715 King Louis the 14th of France died after a reign of 72 years. He had called himself “the Great,” and was the monarch who made the famous statement, “I am the state!” His court was the most magnificent in Europe, and his funeral was equally spectacular. As his casket was put into position, orders were given that the cathedral should be very dimly lit with only a special candle set above his casket, to dramatize his greatness. At his memorial, thousands waited in silence. Then the preacher began to speak and he slowly reaching down, and snuffed out the candle and said, “Only God is great.”

Is it about you and me? NO! 
It’s all about Him and not about you and me! 
It’s all about Him and His attributes and character! 
It’s all about Him and His plan for mankind! 
It’s all about Him in the written word 
It’s all about Him in redemption and regeneration 
It’s all about Him!

The more I read God’s word the more I’m humbled by his awesomeness and love for a sinner like me and you! That He sought me out with forgiveness and salvation. That He demonstrates that by showering me with unmerited mercy every day. That He continues to work in and through me for His glory! Our LORD is always worthy of praise for the great things He has done. Giving thanks with a grateful heart as the Psalmist does in this wonderful psalm of praise for His goodness and mercy“Giving thanks to the LORD, for He is good.” (v1)

Spurgeon said this psalm is “the sweetest stanza that a man can sing. What joy that there is mercy, mercy with Jehovah, enduring mercy, mercy enduring forever. We are ever needing it, trying it, praying for it, receiving it: therefore let us forever sing of it.” As the Psalmist says “His mercy endures forever” not for a season or for a short time but FOREVER! What does it mean to be gripped by the glory of God? His unfailing love and mercy to creation and His called out ones (me and you). His mercy should be the foundation of adoration and motivation each and every day! The reason being.......Without His mercy we would never be able to understand grace and forgiveness found in His Son. Without His mercy we would never find a Christ-filled eternity!
Mercy plays an important part in God’s character! Micah wrote these words......... “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.” Micah 7:18. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matt 9:36

Mercy by definition is a compassion, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant.
Great “For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you.” Isa 54:7
Rich “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved” Eph 2:4-5 

Sure and unchanging “Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, [The same covenant into which God entered with the fathers was firm, sure, and eternal, and not changeable or temporary.] my steadfast, sure love for David.” Isa 55:3 

New every morning “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lam 3:22-23

Free “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love.” Eph 1:4

His people “And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.” Luke 1:50

Sending Christ “because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise [There appears to be an allusion to a prediction of Malachi, in which Christ is called “the Sun of Righteousness,”] shall visit us from on high.”  Luke 1:78

To the repented sinner “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants."' And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Luke 15:19-20

To whom He wills “......I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." Rom 9:15
When I read this Psalm I’m humbled by His provision through His beauty, creation, I’m amazed by His guidance and protection for those whom are His from generation to generation!.


As David said “I love you, O LORD, my strength” Ps 18:1, It’s a deep seated love found in His mercy! Thomas Watson said “God’s justice may make us fear him, his mercy makes us love him. If mercy will not produce love, what will? We are to love God for giving us our food, much more for giving us grace; for sparing mercy, much more for saving mercy.” As Augustine said ‘I would hate my own soul, 'if I did not find it loving God.’

God is the Father of mercy; show yourselves to be his children, by being like him! Jesus saidBe merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:36. We are to show that same mercy towards one another [no exceptions because Christ died for all of mankind’s sins]. Ambrose says, “The sum and definition of religion is, Be rich in works of mercy, be helpful to the bodies and souls of others. Scatter your golden seeds; let the lamp of your profession be filled with the oil of charity. Be merciful in giving and forgiving.” A story is told about a gracious king who wanted to bestow a special honor upon his most gallant young soldier. This benevolent ruler decided to give the soldier one of his own precious jewels — an enormous gemstone of great value. Finally the day for the celebration arrived, and the king called the young man before him in order to make the presentation. As the soldier stepped forward to receive the gift, he looked at the costly gem and, realizing that it was more valuable than all of his worldly possessions, exclaimed, “Your Majesty, it is far too great a gift for me to receive." Grasping the hand of his faithful servant, the king replied, “That may be true, but it is not too great a gift for me to give.” And with that he placed the gem in the soldier’s hand. Humbled and overwhelmed, the soldier received the gift with tearful eyes of appreciation.

We are all like this young soldier! Guilty sinners, deserving none of our great King’s love or mercy. God’s mercy is far too great a gift for such unworthy people like us. But in His never failing love, our heavenly Father who is rich in mercy reassured us, “It is not too great a gift for Me to give.” All we could do is humbly and gratefully receive the gift of God’s magnificent mercy. That’s why this Psalm is all about Him! And this should be the way we live our lives? It’s all about you Lord. Praise His name and be thankful for His unmerited mercy to sinners like us! Praise His name and live by that same mercy towards one another! Praise His name because He is worthy of all our adoration and praise. Praise Him and praise Him....because it’s all about Him...... and not about you!


Anne Lawless said…
Thanks for posting your Sunday messages here. It is wonderful to be able to read them when I miss a Sunday. Anne

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