NEW YEAR, NEW MERCIES (Day 15) Last Day
Unlike human love, which is often fickle and temporary, God’s love never fails, no matter what.
I love Psalm 136. I love all of the psalms, but Psalm 136 blows me away every time I read it. I love the repetition that makes this psalm stand out from all the others. I love the fact that Psalm 136 is a history psalm that, because of its refrain, gets turned into a love poem. I love that it affirms again and again what we desperately need to hear again and again—not once or twice, but twenty-six times! Now, I think that whenever God speaks, you and I should humbly shut up and listen, but I also think that we should pay careful attention to those places where God chooses to repeat Himself, and even more so when He repeats Himself so many times!
Why does God repeat, over and over through the pen of the psalmist, “for his steadfast love endures forever”? There are two answers to this question.
First, there is no reality more radical and foundational to a biblical worldview and a personal sense of identity than this. What is the biblical story? It’s the story of a God of love invading the world in the person of His Son of love to establish His kingdom of love by a radical sacrifice of love, to forgive us in love and draw us into His family of love, and to send us out as ambassadors of the very same love. The entire hope of fallen humanity rests on this one thing—that there is a Savior who is eternally steadfast in redeeming, forgiving, reconciling, transforming, and delivering love. Without this, the Bible is a book of interesting stories and helpful principles, but it is devoid of any power to fix what sin has broken.
The second reason God repeats this refrain is that we have no experience in our lives of this kind of love. You always begin to understand anything that is new to you from the vantage point of your own experience. All the human love we’ve experienced has been flawed in some way. But not God’s; His love is perfect and perfectly steadfast forever. It is the single most stunning reality in the life of a believer. God has placed His love on us and He will never again remove it. There’s a reason to continue, no matter how hard life seems and how weak you feel.
Learn more about New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp.