His Mercy Endures Forever

Give thanks to the Lord because he is good, because his mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods, because his mercy endures forever—Give thanks to the Lord of lords, because his mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the only one who does miraculous things— because his mercy endures forever.

to the one who made the heavens by his understanding— because his mercy endures forever—to the one who spread out the earth on the water— because his mercy endures forever—to the one who made the great lights— because his mercy endures forever—the sun to rule the day— because his mercy endures forever—the moon and stars to rule the night— because his mercy endures forever. [vss 1-9]

Give thanks to the one who killed the firstborn males in Egypt— because his mercy endures forever.

He brought Israel out from among them— because his mercy endures forever—with a mighty hand and a powerful arm— because his mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to one who divided the Red Sea— because his mercy endures forever.

He led Israel through the middle of it— because his mercy endures forever. He swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea— because his mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the one who led his people through the desert— because his mercy endures forever. [vss 10-16]

Give thanks to the one who defeated powerful kings— because his mercy endures forever.

He killed mighty kings— because his mercy endures forever—King Sihon of the Amorites— because his mercy endures forever. and King Og of Bashan— because his mercy endures forever. [vss 17-20]

He gave their land as an inheritance— because his mercy endures forever—as an inheritance for his servant Israel— because his mercy endures forever.

He remembered us when we were humiliated— because his mercy endures forever—He snatched us from the grasp of our enemies— because his mercy endures forever

He gives food to every living creature— because his mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven because his mercy endures forever. [vss 21-26]

(Psalms 136:1-26 GW)


Each Christmas season people are preoccupied with gift giving and the quest for the gift that's just right. A standard advertising question is—"What do you get for the man or woman who has everything?"

The same thing could be asked about God since He does have everything. Literally! He's the Creator and Sustainer of all things and all life. What could anyone give to God?

God doesn't need anything. He also doesn't ask for anything. And yet, every major religion has its own ideas on what to give or offer to God.

In more primitive religious cultures where God is seen as impersonal and distant, people have tried to appease God with countless offerings and sacrifices.

Even in religions where God is known as personal and approachable, spiritual leaders differ on what pleases God and what He requires of us as believers.

This psalm was written as a responsive song of praise. It may have been sung when the temple King Solomon built in Jerusalem was dedicated. (2 Chr 7:3, 6)

Psalm 136 is a simple expression of praise for who God is and of His goodness. As it's sung, those singing are reminded of creation, God's deliverance out of Egypt and through the wilderness into the Promised Land.

As each expression of why people are to give thanks is made the people respond with "because His mercy endures forever."

God is pleased when we acknowledge who God is and how He's blessed us (Heb 11:6).

Try reading through Psalm 136 and think of how God made Himself known to you and blessed you throughout your life and be reminded that "His mercy endures forever."

How and when do you thank God for who He is and how He's blessed you?

God's not asking anything of us except for the response of our heart for all He's given us.

©Word-Strong_2017


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The Blessings of Harmony

See how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in harmony!

It is like fine, scented oil on the head, running down the beard—down Aaron’s beard— running over the collar of his robes.

It is like dew on ⌊Mount⌋ Hermon, dew which comes down on Zion’s mountains.

That is where the Lord promised the blessing of eternal life. [vss 1-3]

A song by David for going up to worship. (Psalms 133:1-3 GW)

Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,

all who stand in the house of the Lord night after night.

Lift your hands toward the holy place, and praise the Lord.

May the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion. [vss 1-3]

A song by David for going up to worship. (Psalms 134:1-3 GW)


As a worship leader and musician, I know the difference between harmony and disharmony. When someone sings off key and when instruments are not in tune with each other, I notice and cringe.

Try as I may, it's hard for me to ignore disharmony. It distracts me and makes it hard for me to concentrate and focus on worshipping the Lord.

But when instruments and voices blend together in a harmonious way, the music carries me along in an uplifting flow of worship.

Harmony in relationships is like a harmonious, free-flowing time of worship. It's good and pleasant for everyone. Two pictures are given in Psalm 133 to illustrate this relational harmony.

When Moses anointed his brother Aaron as the first High Priest of Israel, he did so with pure, scented olive oil. He poured it on to the top of Aaron's head and the oil dripped down onto his beard and robe.

This anointing with oil represented God's Spirit poured out onto Aaron, signifying God's blessing and presence upon Aaron as a High Priest.

King David called Jerusalem the City of Zion—the dwelling place of God. The Temple located in Jerusalem was where God told Israel He would make His presence known.

Dew on Mount Hermon, the highest peak of Israel, also represented a sense of God's presence and blessing. So, David linked the dew melting and flowing down towards Jerusalem as a picture of God's blessing coming down on His people.

Focusing on the Lord as our common point of worship helps us take our eyes off our selves and each other. This brings a sense of the Lord's presence in our midst making our fellowship good and pleasant.

How have you experienced the goodness and pleasantness of worship and fellowship?

See how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in harmony!

©Word-Strong_2017


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I won't cover all 150 Psalms, but do selective devotionals through the rest of Psalms.

So if I skip one that you like... let me know and I'll try to cover it!

A Contented Soul

O Lord, out of the depths I call to you.

O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be open to my pleas for mercy.

O Lord, who would be able to stand if you kept a record of sins?

But with you there is forgiveness so that you can be feared. [vss 1-4]

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and with hope I wait for his word.

My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, because with the Lord there is mercy and with him there is unlimited forgiveness.

He will rescue Israel from all its sins. [vss 5-8]

A song for going up to worship. (Psalms 130:1-8 GW)

O Lord, my heart is not conceited. My eyes do not look down on others.

I am not involved in things too big or too difficult for me.

Instead, I have kept my soul calm and quiet.

My soul is content as a weaned child is content in its mother’s arms.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord now and forever. [vss 1-3]

A song for going up to worship. (Psalms 131:1-3 GW)


People have sought peace of mind and contentment of soul since the beginning of humanity. Various religions, philosophies, and psychologies claim to offer ways of finding contentment and peace, yet the pursuit continues.

This pursuit intensifies during times of personal crises and in the midst of external conflicts and tension. But there's no prescription anyone can offer that measures up to what God offers.

When I was a young pastor, I was asked to pray for a woman with a mysterious lingering illness. Her husband brought her to several doctors and she took many tests but no cause was found for her sickness.

I brought a few men with me to pray for her. We took turns praying with all the faith we could muster but no miraculous healing took place. During our time there I spoke of the debilitating effect of resentment, disappointment, and unforgiveness.

We all went home hoping for the best but not sensing any change in the woman's condition. But the next morning her husband called to tell of her full recovery!

When she let go of unforgiveness in her heart God set her free. Forgiveness was the key to this woman's restoration to health. She humbled herself and God honored it.

These two psalms remind us that the keys to contentment of the soul are humility, a sure hope, and a heart set free by forgiveness. Humbling ourselves in complete trust in God—knowing we need His mercy and that He is our hope—opens the door for restoration.

When we look to the Lord with full confidence and trust, we have the assurance of His mercy and unlimited forgiveness. Our contentment will be like that of a child at rest in the arms of its mother.

When you cry out to God in prayer or worship, do you have confidence He hears you?

Trust in the Lord, wait upon Him as your sure hope, and receive true peace and contentment because of His mercy and forgiveness.

©Word-Strong_2017


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Fear that Blesses

Blessed are all who fear the Lord and live his way.

You will certainly eat what your own hands have provided. Blessings to you! May things go well for you!

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine inside your home. Your children will be like young olive trees around your table. [vss 1-3]

This is how the Lord will bless the person who fears him.

May the Lord bless you from Zion so that you may see Jerusalem prospering all the days of your life.

May you live to see your children’s children. Let there be peace in Israel! [vss 4-6]

A song for going up to worship. (Psalms 128:1-6 GW)


How can fear bring blessing? When it's the right type of fear. This psalm speaks of the fear of God and declares the blessing it brings. The fear of God is often misunderstood by believers and non-believers alike.

It's a matter of priorities. When a person honors the Lord—realizing who He is and how powerful yet merciful He is—blessing will follow.

God's blessings will follow in the life of a person with an honest and humble heart.

The ending of the previous psalm is similar in focus to this one. It's one of a series of psalms sung by Jewish worshippers on their way to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish feasts.

As the people walked up the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, these songs could be sung in sequence. They reminded the people of the promises of their God, who He was to them, and of their national history.

This psalm is a declaration of truth. When we honor the Lord with a respectful, godly fear, blessings will follow. God's blessings are like a river flowing out of heaven onto earth for those who live in the ways of the Lord.

Work and life will be fruitful and satisfying, and this flows into a person's family and home life. Even the nation as a whole will be blessed. 

Again, it's a matter of priorities. Respect and worship God, live according to the truth of His Word, and blessing will follow.

Are you experiencing the flow of God's blessings in your life?

Are your priorities your own or do they honor the Lord above all?

Honor the Lord with your whole life so you can experience His favor flowing through it.

©Word-Strong_2017


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I won't cover all 150 Psalms, but do selective devotionals through the rest of Psalms.

So if I skip one that you like... let me know and I'll try to cover it!

Is It All Good?

If the Lord does not build the house, it is useless for the builders to work on it. 

If the Lord does not protect a city, it is useless for the guard to stay alert.

It is useless to work hard for the food you eat by getting up early and going to bed late.

The Lord gives ⌊food⌋ to those he loves while they sleep. [vss 1-2]

Children are an inheritance from the Lord. They are a reward from him.

The children born to a man when he is young are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them.

He will not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the city gate. [vss 3-5]

A song by Solomon for going up to worship. (Psalms 127:1-5 GW)


The popular phrase, "It's all good," is used way too much. It's an expression that covers a multitude of situations. It's meaningless without context and often depends on a person's point of view on life in general.

King Solomon used a phrase throughout the book of Ecclesiastes that conveys the opposite—"It's useless...!" (Eccl 1:1 NCV). A more current way to say it is, "It's a waste of time!"

Psalm 127 is attributed to King Solomon who was known for his wisdom (Proverbs) and life of excess (1 Kings 10:23, 24, 26; 11:3). His life of excess corrupted him but it also taught him important lessons in life.

When we make the wrong things our priorities, our values get distorted and our life gets turned upside down. This is the basic message of the first half of this psalm.

America's affluent culture is currently fixated on self-absorbed hedonism in pursuit of a risk-free life. It is a pointless pursuit and it's not "all good."

Americans want bigger, more beautiful homes, fail-safe security, and we're willing to scheme and work for it. But the cost is steep and in the end, it will all be lost.

On the other hand, implicit trust in the Lord pays great dividends and provides contentment and peace of mind.

It's a daily choice. Either we strive for more while sacrificing relationships and sleep, or we can find contentment through trusting in the Lord. King Solomon realized this at the end of his life (Eccl 12:13-14).

How long will it take for you to learn this lesson?

Do you spend more time striving and worrying or resting and trusting in the Lord?

The Lord gives ⌊food⌋ to those he loves while they sleep (verse 2)

©Word-Strong_2017


Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?

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I won't cover all 150 Psalms, but do selective devotionals through the rest of Psalms.

So if I skip one that you like... let me know and I'll try to cover it!