Psalms 136
EASY
136
Psalm 136 #136:0 In this psalm, one group says something and another group answers. Perhaps it was the psalm they used in Ezra 3:11. There it says, ‘They answered each other, praising and thanking the LORD. They said, 'He is good. His kind love will always continue to Israel'.’ The Jews called this psalm ‘the great hallel.’ Other hallels are Psalms 113-118 and 135. They are psalms that praise the Lord, or tell the Lord that he is really great. But this psalm is different from the other psalms. One group of people tell part of the story of what God has done. Then the other people repeat a chorus some words that are the same each time. The chorus says, ‘Because his kind love will always continue.’ ‘Kind love’ is a very special Bible word. The Jews wrote the psalms in their own language, Hebrew. The Hebrew word we translated ‘kind love’ is ‘hesed.’ Really, there is no English word that can translate ‘hesed.’ ‘Kind love’ is the best we can do. It comes from the old English Bible that translated it ‘lovingkindness.’ People have written a lot about ‘hesed.’ But we must remember that it means at least two things: – God does not have to love us but he still loves us; – God will always love us. Look again at the psalm. Really, verses 1-3 should come before every verse! That is why we put ‘Thank the Lord because’ before each part of the psalm. It is there to help us to remember this.
The Kind Love of the Lord (The Great Hallel) #136:1 There are 5 parts in this psalm: – Verses 1-3 and 26 tell us to thank the Lord; – Verses 4-9 tell us that God made earth, sky, sun, moon and stars; – Verses 10-16 tell us how God saved the Jews from Egypt; – Verses 17-22 tell us how God took his people from Egypt to Canaan; – Verses 23-25 tell us that God gives us all that we need.
1Thank the LORD, because he is good!
Thank him because his kind love will always continue. #136:1 In verses 1 and 3 we have the words Lord and Lord. They are not the same word in Hebrew. Lord is the covenant name for God. A covenant is when people agree. Here, God agrees to love his people and to give them help. His people agree to love and obey God. Lord is a word for someone with authority. In Hebrew, ‘the Lord who is the greatest lord’ is ‘Lord of lords.’
2Thank God, who is the greatest of the gods.
Thank him because his kind love will always continue.
3Thank the Lord, who is the greatest lord.
Thank him because his kind love will always continue.
4-9Thank the Lord because:
· only he does great miracles
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he made the skies with understanding
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he put the earth on the waters
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he made the great lights
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he made the sun to rule the day
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he made the moon and stars to rule the night
and his kind love will always continue. #136:4-9 In verse 4, miracles are things that only God can do. Only he could make the earth, the moon, the stars and the sun.
10-16Thank the Lord because:
· he destroyed the firstborn in Egypt
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he brought Israel out from Egypt
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he did this with a strong hand and a powerful arm
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he cut the Red Sea into two parts
and because his kind love will always continue
· he brought Israel through the middle of it
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he pushed Pharaoh the king of Egypt and his army into the Red Sea
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he led his people through the desert
and because his kind love will always continue. #136:10-16 The firstborn in verse 10 means the first child or animal to be born to its parents. The desert in verse 16 is the wild country between Egypt and Palestine. The old name for Palestine was Canaan. God gave this land as a gift to his people, verses 21 and 22. But they still had to fight to get into it.
17-22Thank the Lord because:
· he destroyed great kings
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he killed very strong kings
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he killed Sihon, king of the Amorites
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he killed Og, the king of Bashan
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he gave their land as a gift
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he gave it as a gift to his servant Israel
and because his kind love will always continue.
23-25Thank the Lord because:
· he remembered us when we were very sad
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he made us free from our enemies
and because his kind love will always continue;
· he gives food to everything that he has made
and because his kind love will always continue. #136:23-25 The enemies in verse 24 made them sad in verse 23.
26Thank the God of heaven!
Because his kind love will always continue.