“O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” That’s the beginning of Psalm 136 (NRSV).
The last half of that — “for his steadfast love endures forever” is repeated in this Psalm twenty-six times. Yes, it is the chorus of a call and response; but reading it out loud, I could not miss the emphasis that God’s steadfast love endures forever.
God’s love is steadfast. Rock. Solid. Actually, it is even more than rock solid. God’s love is impenetrable and unbreakable.
God’s love endures. It is not subject to erosion. It does not fade. It does not fluctuate or waver.
God’s love is forever. It exists before time, through time, and beyond time. There is nothing in all of creation that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Psalm recounts God’s steadfast love enduring forever in the midst of creation, in the affliction of his people, in the victories that have been won, and in his provision for all the earth. The chorus is repeated twenty-six times. For me, at about the twelfth, it began to sink in that the Psalmist was making a point.
Now is included in forever. God’s love is enduring even now. I can count on it as I look forward. I can see it as I look back. I can trust in it now. There is tremendous comfort in dwelling in the richness of that love. It is an encouragement of hope; that my limitations, flaws and failings do not disqualify me from God’s love.
- does call me to repentance and to seek his mercy and forgiveness,
- is the standard by which all is measured, and
- is deeper than all the depths I will ever be able to plumb.
So, today, I am remembering. I am remembering the blessing of God’s word, “O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”