Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Quote-ables...for His steadfast love endures forever!

Last night I was at a Bible study with some of my favorite college girls, picking apart a couple Psalms with highlighters. At the beginning of the summer we each shared our favorite Psalm and then in the following weeks we began to study 2 at a time, each Monday night. Last night we worked through Psalm 131 (Ally's fave) and Psalm 136 Courtney's fave!) highlighters in hand, underlining verbs and tenses and pronouns and...other things that stood out to us.

They are both wonderful Psalms ('tis the Bible, after-all!), and I would encourage you to take a look at both of them, but today I want to specifically share a little about 136.

For those of you familiar with the Psalms, that is the one where the author (it is an "orphan psalm," meaning the author is unknown) reminds us that the Lord's "steadfast love endures forever" 26 times, once in every verse. It is a Psalm of confidence in God. There are two parts to each verse: the first is where the Psalmist declares something about who God is or what He has so faithfully done, followed by the repetitive reminder of His steadfast and enduring love.

At first glance, it looks to be rather redundant. "Yes, yes, I know. His love endures forever...you said that already like 20 times!" Why keep saying it?

Because we need to hear it! Over and over and over again.

If the repeating line was taken out of the Psalm we would be left with 26 still very good verses. But we realized that the line that repeats itself over and over is almost like 26 little "selahs" (a term used in the Psalms after really power-packed verses that tells you to stop, pause for a moment, and think on what you just read) Without that line we would probably skim right over and miss what the Psalm is really all about. Why is he telling us about God making the heavens, spreading the earth out over the waters, drowning Pharaoh in the Red Sea, and killing kings Og and Sihon? It seems like it goes from describing God as sovereign and very artistic Creator to seemingly violent Deliverer. WHY?

Because all of those things are a picture of his unending, never-failing, all-knowing, perfectly timed love that is in ever situation and is at work in all of our lives!

I looked up 'steadfast' and 'endures' on Dictionary.com and here is what it pulled up as definition of those two powerful words:

 

stead·fast [sted-fast, -fahst, -fuhst] –adjective

1.fixed in direction; steadily directed: a steadfast gaze.
2.firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc., as a person: a steadfast friend.
3.unwavering, as resolution, faith, adherence, etc.
4.firmly established, as an institution or a state of affairs.
5.firmly fixed in place or position.
 

en·dure [en-door, -dyoor]  verb

1.to hold out against; sustain without impairment or yielding; undergo
2.to bear without resistance or with patience; tolerate
3. to admit of; allow; bear
4.to continue to exist; last
5.to support adverse force or influence of any kind; suffer without yielding; suffer patiently
6.to have or gain continued or lasting acknowledgment or recognition, as of worth, merit or greatness
 
In summary, God's love is firmly established and unwavering and it will continue to last without yielding!

We decided, as we looked at the Psalm and the things that the psalmist was declaring God's love to be in, that we should do the same in our own lives. We even went as far as saying that we should write down what we did all day and follow each little statement with the line "for His steadfast love endures forever."

Example:

I got up today and made coffee,
For His steadfast love endures forever.
 *(I got up! I live in a house in which I have coffee, a coffee maker, and ease of making it!)

I braided my hair,
for His steadfast love endures forever.
*(I have hair. And two arms with which I can braid!)

I sat down at the computer and wrote this blog post,
for His steadfast love endures forever!
*(I have a beautiful room, nice computer, the ability to form words and use them for influence on this blog!)

Okay, I admit, maybe that is overkill. That might just be taking things a liiiiitttle too far. But...do you see what I am saying? God is at work in everything, even when we don't see it. His plan is PERFECT even when it doesn't make sense to us. We should choose to be thankful and glorify Him for the things that He has done, is doing and will do, because He so faithfully loves us!

Take a look at Psalm 136. Then take a look at your life, or even just your day today, and thank God for His faithfulness!

...FOR HIS STEADFAST LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!!!!!

4 comments:

Amie said...

I am seriously psyched that you posted this, and I hope you post some more of the Psalms you study. I have been on a mission to read the Bible cover to cover for about three years and thanks to His love, patience and understanding I feel like I've gotten pretty far in this goal. However, I totally skipped the book of Psalms because I couldn't make heads or tails of it.

Thanks for sharing, hope to hear more :)

Isabella Kiss said...

Oh you MUST read psalms! It is my favorite!!!! They are all originally written to be songs, and being the lyric lover that I am, I just loooove that.
The bible study is only for the summer, but I definitely could post more from psalms! My favorite is 37. 51 is amazing. I've been reading 63 a lot lately. I will try and come up with posts for you! In the mean time, get reading!!! :)

Beth said...

Like!

I was JUST thinking that I ought to post our list of Psalms over at my blog! I'll have to link to your post...

Sarah Louise Upjohn said...

:-)

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