“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.”
Thus begins this ode of thanksgiving to the Lord who has been in a very special relationship with Israel throughout their history. It begins with the bidding to be thankful to God, declaring the sovereignty of God from the act of creation and continues with Israel’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt and through the conquest of the Promised Land. The summing up in v. 23-25 put it into a nutshell, with reciting God’s character of love and mercy to Israel and to the whole of creation. The last verse is another bid to, “Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.”
You can’t miss the theme of this psalm, as it is a constant refrain throughout. It is most likely to have been intended as a liturgical psalm, said or sung responsively; possibly with a priest leading with the first line of each verse, and a Levitical choir or the whole congregation replying with the refrain.
Just as we celebrate certain seasons throughout the liturgical year with Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and so on, so this may have been used in a season of Thanksgiving (totally unrelated to turkeys and pilgrims). Such seasons in the church’s year are a reminder – that we have a good God who is worthy of all thanksgiving and worship. Sometimes we need a reminder like this so that we will see our own lives in relation to God’s commitment to his creation and his people.
APPLICATION: So, looking back over your own life, take time to thank God for bringing you the tough times, blessing you with good times, and especially for revealing himself to you in his beloved Son, Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through the retrospective, and “Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.”
SONG: Robin Mark - Forever (Give Thanks to the Lord)
In 2024, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.