In this psalm the writer begins by praising God with “Hallelujah”. Hallelujah is a Hebrew word meaning “praise ye YAH (Yahweh). In Revelation the word Hallelujah is used where a great multitude has gathered before the throne in the immediate presence of God Himself.
Revelation 19:1-8 (HCSB)1 After this I heard something like the loud voice of a vast multitude in heaven, saying: Hallelujah! Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God,2 because His judgments are true and righteous, because He has judged the notorious prostitute who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality; and He has avenged the blood of His slaves that was on her hands.3 A second time they said: Hallelujah! Her smoke ascends forever and ever!4 Then the 24 elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who is seated on the throne, saying: Amen! Hallelujah!5 A voice came from the throne, saying: Praise our God, all His slaves, who fear Him, both small and great!6 Then I heard something like the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder, saying: Hallelujah, because our Lord God, the Almighty, has begun to reign!7 Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has prepared herself.8 She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure. For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints. (Bold mine)
In verses 1-3 there is a call for thanksgiving for God’s goodness and His mercy. Verses 4-9 acknowledge that God’s goodness and mercy are evident in His creation. In verses 10-25 the writer praises God for each event, from the time that He delivered Israel from Egypt until they entered Canaan, because He is good and merciful He ends the psalm the way he started by thanking God because of His goodness and mercy.
God’s Love Is Eternal
Psalm 136:1-26 (NKJV)1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.2 Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever.3 Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever:4 To Him who alone does great wonders, For His mercy endures forever;5 To Him who by wisdom made the heavens, For His mercy endures forever;6 To Him who laid out the earth above the waters, For His mercy endures forever;7 To Him who made great lights, For His mercy endures forever--8 The sun to rule by day, For His mercy endures forever;9 The moon and stars to rule by night, For His mercy endures forever.10 To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn, For His mercy endures forever;11 And brought out Israel from among them, For His mercy endures forever;12 With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, For His mercy endures forever;13 To Him who divided the Red Sea in two, For His mercy endures forever;14 And made Israel pass through the midst of it, For His mercy endures forever;15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, For His mercy endures forever;16 To Him who led His people through the wilderness, For His mercy endures forever;17 To Him who struck down great kings, For His mercy endures forever;18 And slew famous kings, For His mercy endures forever--19 Sihon king of the Amorites, For His mercy endures forever;20 And Og king of Bashan, For His mercy endures forever--21 And gave their land as a heritage, For His mercy endures forever;22 A heritage to Israel His servant, For His mercy endures forever.23 Who remembered us in our lowly state, For His mercy endures forever;24 And rescued us from our enemies, For His mercy endures forever;25 Who gives food to all flesh, For His mercy endures forever.26 Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever.
Israel Knew That God's Mercy Endures Forever
The realization that God’s mercy is everlasting is shown throughout Israel's history. David appointed singers whose job was to repeat at the tabernacle, “give thanks to the Lord, because His mercy endures forever”
1 Chronicles 16:41 (NKJV)41 and with them Heman and Jeduthun and the rest who were chosen, who were designated by name, to give thanks to the LORD, because His mercy endures forever;
Later, when the ark was brought into the newly completed temple, Solomon appointed singers to sing, “He indeed is good, for His mercy endures forever”
2 Chronicles 5:13 (NKJV)13 indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying: "For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,"
Jehoshaphat appointed singers to lead the army into battle singing, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting”
2 Chronicles 20:21 (NKJV)21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: "Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever."
Jesus Proves That God's Mercy Endures Forever
God has shown us His everlasting goodness and mercy is the gift that He gave mankind in His Son, Jesus Christ, who came to give His life to pay the penalty for our sin. Through His shed blood on the cross we are freed from the curse of sin which is death. It’s available to everybody all you have to do is acknowledge that you are a sinner, ask forgiveness, and then:
Romans 10:8-10 (NKJV)8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
The application for us today is that all things point to God’s goodness and mercy, and because it does we can shout Hallelujah because He works everything, every single thing for our good because He is conforming us to the image of His Son Jesus.
Romans 8:28-29 (NKJV)28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
For His mercy endures forever.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.