‘His Love Endures Forever’

‘His Love Endures Forever’

By: Pastor January B. Alpuerto
| Pastor, Silliman University Church

Text: Psalm 136:1-9


Read Psalm 136. Notice and count how many times the phrase “His love endures forever” was written. It is written in a way that in every declaration of God’s mighty act, there is a response. The response then becomes an affirmation of what the leader would read. We have to remember that this psalm was written at a time when there were no printing presses, copy machines, projectors or computers, so there was no way everyone could read something at the same time. The words that all the people said together had to be important words that that they could learn quickly. And in this particular chapter in the book of Psalm, all the people say just one sentence, a very important sentence – a declaration that “His love endures forever.” Repeated 26 times, it gives weight to the importance of the sentence. A simple sentence as it is, it bears the whole truth about a God who watches over His people. It expresses deep gratitude to a God who never fails to fulfill His promise. God’s love will endure forever. It will never end.

While God remained faithful, the people of Israel seemed to forget about God sometimes. They disobeyed God and worshiped gods from other countries. They followed people who sometimes led them away from God. They needed to learn that their God’s love would not end. Even if they abandoned God and became unfaithful to Him, God remained faithful. Even through tough times, like when they were wandering in the desert or facing an enemy, God’s love was with them every day.

Today we too express our gratitude to God. As we repeat the phrase “His love endures forever” over and over again, we too can learn something that we need to remember every day.

As we affirm and testify that God’s love that endures forever, we then transform our hearts by acknowledging to the one who made things possible.

The Psalm is about #1Gratitude

The phrase “His love endures forever” is repeated 26 times. You might think then this psalm is all about love. But this psalm is not just about God’s love; it is also a psalm of thanksgiving. As the writer one by one declared God’s mighty acts for His people, God’s people responded in humility. By acknowledging that through His great love God deliver His people. Whatever shortcomings, unfaithfulness the Israelites committed, still God’s love never changed for them. God still delivered.

Notice all the thanksgiving that goes on in these verses? Reflect then: how often do you say “thank you”? When do you remember to say “Thank you?” You probably say “thank you” when someone does something nice for you. Saying “thank you” helps to remind us that what we have often comes from other people. What they have also comes from God. Even when someone does something for us, God gave that person the ability and the resources to do it. God gave that person strength for the day so that he or she could do something good, that others can benefit from that goodness. God also gives you the strength to say “thank you.” So when you say “thank you” over the next few days, remember that God deserves our thanks, too.

The Psalm is about #2 Remembering

“What are your fondest memories, those which you would like and love to recall? Memories that you would want to do again? Memories that will make your heart leap for joy and be excited. Maybe it was a day at the beach, family vacation, a time in the park or boulevard, a movie night-out, or simple coffee talk. When we talk about these times together, we each add our memories to the conversation. It’s fun to remember good times, and talking about them helps us all refresh our memories. For the Israelite people, Psalm 136 was like one of those conversations. They recalled and remembered what God has done for them and what God will continue to do.

Remembering is one of God’s commandments to Israelites. Today, remembering is one way to recognize the mighty act of God in our life. Notice all the things the writer remembers? He says, “Remember when God made the heavens? That was awesome. Remember when God spread out the water and the land? That was awesome, too.” The psalm is teaching us to always remember what God has done. For whatever God has done to us, it is because of His great love that never ends.

God has done some big things for us, too. Thus we also need to remember it. So, like the Israelites, we cry to God for help, and God comes to our rescue just like He did for the Israelites. We call on God to rescue us every day, every moment that we need His guidance, wisdom and assurance.

Does God still care for us today? How do we know God will do to us what He did for the Israelites? He’s done it before. The answer is: “His love endures forever;” thus remember the time when He created the world. There are times when we’d rather count the burdens, the worries, fears rather than remember what God has done for us. How God showed His great love to us. Take the lesson from the story of the Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans.

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.

However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “

In life, adversity, trials, challenges never ends. How do we respond? Do we seek out to the one who is faithful whose love never ends?

The Israelites experienced adversities. We, too, today, still face adversity every day. Yet we affirm by saying: “His Love endures forever” for we know that God is faithful. God’s presence and the signs of His love are all around us. There is more to be grateful for. Take time and feel God’s presence. Count God’s blessing and name them one by one.