For His Mercy Endures Forever

In Psalm 136 the phrase "For His mercy endures forever," appears, alternated, 26 times. To some it may seem to be a tiresome and unnecessary refrain. Nevertheless, someone has said: "This phrase is Moses' astonishment, the sum of the revelation and hope for man." And someone else: "There are many good things in the Word of God, but the name of mercy is the sweetest of all the scriptures and it makes David repeat it twenty six times in this Psalm."

When is God's mercy appreciated? When is the God of mercy valued? In this Psalm, not only God's mercy towards Israel is praised, for the many times in which he liberated Israel from their enemies, but God's mercies are expressed way before, in the creation of the world. Everything that exists, expresses God's mercy.

But, without a doubt, the place where it shines with greater splendor is in his treatment towards his people. Especially towards Israel, a rebellious and defiant people, which is a perfect figure of our own heart. That is why in this Psalm, at every step, after remembering each of God's landmarks of salvation, the most beautiful phrase, that a believer can say of God, is included: "For his mercy endures forever."

C. H. Spurgeon says: "Mercy opened the route, mercy encouraged the people of Israel, mercy made them descend, and mercy made them rise to the other side. Mercy reaches the bottom of the sea. Mercy arrives to this: there is no end in itself, there is no obstacle in its way, there is no danger for the believers when the Lord is around and says "Go on" . Let this be our sign, like it was for Israel, because mercy surrounds us throughout. Through the fire or through the sea of his mercy, He is to take care of us.

The difference that exists between the holy God and his sinful people, between the kindness of God and the evilness of man, between the gifts of God and the narrowness of man, is so great that man should forever be dismissed from all communication and contact with God; cast away, forever, in the deepest darkness, which his sin has made him deserving.

Yet, what makes it possible for God to be near, to seek man, to provide for him salvation, to bring him near, to forgive his sins time and time again, to teach him, discipline, perfect, honor, and to finally raise him to dwell in the light of his presence for eternity? All this is possible because of God's mercies. "He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him" (Psalm 130: 10-11).

If we knew ourselves better, we would better understand God's mercies, expressed every day that goes by, even if we are not aware of it. Our ingenuous unconsciousness, and our consequent ingratitude, is perhaps, a still greater demonstration of the mercies of God towards us.

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