Psalm 136

We should give thanks to God, not only for the mercies which are handed out to us here on earth, but for that which endures forever in the glories and joys of heaven to follow this life.

1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.

3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.

5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.

6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.

7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:

8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:

9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.

10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:

11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:

12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.

13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:

14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:

15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.

16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.

17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

18 And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:

20 And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:

21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:

22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.

23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:

24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.

25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.

26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 136:1-12 – ​A Review of God’s Mercies

   An antiphonal psalm, intended to be sung by two choirs or by a soloist and the Temple choir. This avowal of the eternity of God’s mercy, amid all the fluctuation and change of human affairs, is very striking. When we can look out on the history of our world from God’s standpoint, we discover that the black-edged pages have been interleaved with golden pages of mercy. When we review our own lives from the vantage ground of heaven, we shall see that the mercy of God was the blue sky of background across which the dark clouds floated for but a limited space.
   The divisions are as follows: Creation, Psalm 136:1-9; Redemption, Psalm 136:10-22; Providence, Psalm 136:23-26. In the first division the psalmist views the framework of the world and the redemption of Israel from Egypt as equal monuments of the divine loving-kindness. It was love that made the theater on which the great revelation of redemption was manifested. The crimson lips of a tulip’s petals are His work as well as the crimson blood that flowed at Calvary. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Psalm 136:13-26 – ​Deliverance from Enemies

   This psalm is no mere running commentary on the ways of God. It is a song of redemption. Pharaoh, Sihon, Og opposed God’s redeeming purpose, though there were abundant evidences throughout the Exodus that it was of supernatural origin, and they came under the divine judgment. It was a mercy for all after-ages that their ideals did not prevail. Was there not ineffable wisdom and benevolence in the substitution of monotheism and the honor of womanhood and the assertion of individual rights for the degradation of their type of civilization? We must take large views of God’s dealings in providence and history.
   Men are apt to forget us when we are in low estate, but that is the time when God seems more thoughtful, Psalm 136:23. He has delivered, does deliver, and will deliver, Psalm 136:24. Will God make provision for all living creatures and neglect His children, Psalm 136:25? Let us trust in the love of God, which remains constant amid our fluctuations, and unaffected by our failures and sins, so long as we return from our backslidings with repentance on our lips. It is very comforting to realize that the essence of this psalm will be sung on the other side. See Revelation 15:3. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Psalm 136:26—His mercy endureth for ever.

​   Twenty-six times in this Psalm we are told that God’s mercy endureth for ever. The psalmist had been reviewing the history of the past. As far back as the Creation his eye had travelled, and all through the stormy, troublous days he could detect the silver thread of mercy. Oh that we had his eyes to see always the love of God! Amid the murky gloom of chaos there is a silver gleam; it is his mercy. When sun and moon appear, there is a brighter light than theirs; it is his mercy. Above the roar of the Red Sea and the rattle of the thunder-storms, are the flute-like notes of his mercy. Through all the strife and horror of the conquest of Canaan there glides the white-robed angel of his mercy. Deeper than the darkest shades of sin, higher than the highest floods of transgression, is the love of God, in the hand of which the round world and all its inhabitants lie, as a drop on the palm. Look back on your life, and say whether you cannot see the thread of mercy linking all its beads.

       “A debtor to mercy alone,
       Of covenant mercy we sing.”

   And do you suppose that such mercy is going to fail you? It endureth for ever! You fret and chafe like a restless little child; but you cannot fall out of the arms of God’s mercy. Lie still, it canopies you like a mother’s face; it breathes about you as a mothers embrace. O love that will not let us go! O mercy that hath neither beginning nor end! O God, who hast loved, who lovest, and who wilt love, when the sun is no more, and the things that are now shall have passed away as a dream! O grace of God, exceeding in thy abundance the highest mountains of our sin! —Our Daily Homily