Some Things Deserve to Be RepeatedDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
My grandmother had a collection of sayings that she repeated again and again and again. I heard her say, “Make somebody happy and you’ll be happy too” hundreds of times. When I became old enough to drive, I’d stop by her house to stock up on cookies. Every time I left, she’d call out, “Drive safely!” In more than a thousand visits to my grandparents’ house—they lived right down the street from where I grew up—every time my grandmother would say to me, “We love you!” I knew it already, without a doubt. But it felt good to hear it again, anyway.
Some things deserve to be repeated, important things, wise things, things that shape our minds, hearts, and actions. Psalm 136 exemplifies worthwhile repetition. Each of its 26 verses ends with the same phrase, “His faithful love endures forever.” Now that’s some serious repetition . . . just the sort we need.
The word translated here as “faithful love” is chesed in Hebrew. This word, one of the most important in the Scriptures, is translated in a variety of ways in English versions of the Bible. The KJV uses “mercy.” The ESV prefers “steadfast love.” The NIV employs “love.” God’s chesed is his faithful goodness to us, his love that never quits, his mercy when we are desperate. Many biblical scholars associate God’s chesed with his covenant relationship with Israel. His love is faithful in that the Lord honors his covenant promises.
Through constant repetition of “his faithful love endures forever,” Psalm 136 takes this truth and works it into our hearts. When life is hard and we’re not sure God is there for us, we hear echoes of Psalm 136: “His faithful love endures forever. His faithful love endures forever.” When we take on new challenges that stretch us, we are strengthened by the refrain of his psalm: “His faithful love endures forever. His faithful love endures forever.” When we delight in the good gifts of life, we realize that they are just that, gifts from our faithful, loving God. Thus our hearts resonate with the words of Psalm 136 that bear repeating: “His faithful love endures forever. His faithful love endures forever.”
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Can you remember sentences that were repeated in your family of origin, by your parents or grandparents? What impact have these sentences had upon you? How might you live differently today if you truly believed that you were fully and forever loved by God?
PRAYER: Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.
Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.
Come, Almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.
Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.
“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling,” by Charles Wesley, 1747. Public domain.