Psalm 136:1-3 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

 

Give thanks to the God of gods,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

 

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,

for his steadfast love endures forever. . . .

Today’s passage comes out of Psalms and is considered a Psalm of thanksgiving or confidence. In the book of Psalms there is a limited amount of variety considering the number of chapters there are in the book. Most theologists and avid readers of the bible would consider there to be about a handful of types of Psalms despite being the largest book of the bible.

Today’s Psalm speaks to the steadfast nature of God’s love. The line, “his steadfast love endures forever” is repeated three times. In the bible, no different than today, repetition serves as an emphasis or a line of importance. If a line is repeated twice or even three times special attention should be paid to the words. A Psalm, however, can have a different role in comparison to other biblical writing.

C.S Lewis, a revered Christian author writes this about the reading of Psalms, What must be said … is that the Psalms are poems, and poems intended to be sung: not doctrinal treatises, nor even sermons. … Most emphatically the Psalms must be read as poems; as lyrics, with all the licenses and all the formalities, the hyperboles, the emotional rather than logical connections, which are proper to lyric poetry. They must be read as poems if they are to be understood; no less than French must be read as French or English as English. Otherwise we shall miss what is in them and think we see what is not.”

The repetition in today’s verse may be considered a simple refrain or a repeated stanza but should hold no less weight in its importance.

“His steadfast love endures forever.”

What an important line. What an important characteristic for us to recognize in God our father. When considering what else in this world is steadfast or endures forever the list is short. Time? Aging? Work? There is nothing as concrete or long lasting and good like God. His nature of omnipotence and transcendence of time qualifies God as all-powerful. Our God alone can be described as a good God of Gods and Lord of Lords. Impossibly difficult to understand despite the size of His office and all that He rules – His love for us is enduring. 

Hopefully this is a song that you can get stuck in your head. Having this thought at the front of your mind will change your perspective. In the grand scheme of the things that may test your patience or peace or contentment, if this is a song that you are able to sing just under your breath (like the dozen others that you’ve done incessantly) than you have ability to transcend this world and start to belong to the world that is ahead of us.