Give thanks to the LORD for He is good, His love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1)
This is a powerful song/praise chorus used many times in the Psalms and throughout the bible. In fact a search on biblegateway.com reveals the phrase “His love endures forever” appears 41 times. Psalms 136 ends each verse with His love endures forever. Why is this chorus repeated so many times throughout scripture?
Let’s look more closely at Psalm 136. Without this repeated chorus, Psalm 136 presents a straightforward account of God’s history with His people, including his creative acts (verses 1-9) and his powerful protection against the enemies of his people (verses 10-26). Doesn’t this repetition magnify the Lord’s love? This seems to be especially true in the light of God’s history with His people. This repetition really brings God’s enduring love into focus.
Enduring love that does not change, that is faithful and strong through all generations (Psalm 100:5). Enduring unyielding love that stands firm inspire of circumstances (Psalm 89:2). Enduring love whose compassions never fail and are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).
It is through this love that God gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16-17). This great love is demonstrated in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:9). This great enduring love of God that is in the Lord Jesus Christ, NOTHING, can separate us from it (Romans 8:38-39)! How wonderful – how powerful, how wide, how long, how high, how deep is this enduring love – it’s beyond our understanding (Ephesians 3:17-19). No wonder this chorus appears so many times.
What is the result of magnifying the Lord, of exalting His name together (Psalm 34:3) in this way? Let’s take a look at some important places where the power of singing this chorus is seen:
1. (1 Chronicles 16:34, 41) It is David’s Psalm of Thanks before the Ark. David established this song for worship in the “tabernacle without walls.”
2. (2 Chronicles 5:13-14) It is the song of thanks offered when the Ark was brought into the temple built by Solomon. When this praise was offered, the temple was so filled with the cloud of the glory of the LORD that the priests could not stand up to minister because of it.
3. (2 Chronicles 7:3, 6) It is the song of thanks and awe offered at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. After Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven, consumed the sacrifices and the temple was once again filled with the glory of the LORD. The people knelt face-down and worshipped the Lord with this song.
4. (2 Chronicles 20:21) It is the song Jehoshaphat’s army used to defeat the vast army of Moabites and Ammonites; a powerful weapon in the battle of the LORD.
5. (Ezra 3:7-13) It is the song sung when the builders laid the foundation of the rebuilt temple of the LORD (vs 11). The loud song was heard far away.
6. (Jeremiah 33:10-11) It is the song of the bridegroom & bride; the voice of gladness, oil of joy.
Places where this chorus appears or is hinted at in the Psalms:
1. (Psalm 100) Enter His Gates! Singing and shouting for joy, praising the Lord’s name, allows you to come before Him bringing you into His presence. He inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3)! Entrance into the city of the Lord is through the “Gate called Praise” (Isaiah 60:18).
2. (Psalm 106:47) Praise is the Way to Triumph and Christ’s Victory! Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory (or triumph) in your praise. This type of triumph or victory praise intimidates the opponent and motivates God’s people to move forward in Christ’s victory. We are able to triumph with Christ (Colossians 2:15). We not only applaud Him for what He has done, we are also joining with Him in advancement of His kingdom. God’s intervention on behalf of his people always brings forth this type of praise, glory and triumph.
3. (Psalm 107:1-2) Song of the Redeemed! Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say this- Who are the redeemed of the Lord? When people repent and cry out to the Lord, they are redeemed. There are only two kinds of people in the world: those who repent and cry out to the Lord and those who do not.
4. (Psalm 118:4, 19-22) All Who Fear the Lord Say-Let those who fear the LORD say: “His love endures forever.” This psalm links this chorus with opening gates of righteousness. It also refers to “the gate”, and “stone the builders rejected,” making it clear that Christ is the “gate” and “stone” (Luke 20:17; 1 Peter 2:7). This is one of the earliest messianic testimonies to Jesus Christ.
What do these passages reveal? I think they reveal the power of magnifying the Lord through song and praise, together, with one voice. Focusing on the enduring love of the Lord, together, in this way brings the whole group into the Lord’s presence like nothing else. The fact that this is repeated so many times throughout the Bible highlights the importance of coming together and singing His praise. There is love, power, comfort, joy and strength in His presence.
So what are we waiting for? Come Magnify the LORD!
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. (Psalm 136:1)
Come, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. (Psalm 34:3)
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. (Psalm 100:4)
…the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: Praise the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, For His mercy endures forever-and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first, says the LORD.
I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. (Psalm 9:2)
Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! (Psalm 47:1)
Save us, O LORD our God, And gather us from among the Gentiles, To give thanks to Your holy name, To triumph in Your praise. (Psalm 106:47).
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, Amen! Praise the LORD! (Psalm 106:48).