Psalm 136:1: “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! / For His mercy endures forever.”

May 21st, 2024 by Pastor Ed in devotional

This psalm begins and ends with the same thought: being thankful for God’s mercy. It might be argued that the whole theme of this psalm is mercy. The Hebrew word hesed appears 248 times in the Old Testament, and in addition to mercy is also translated as kindness, lovingkindness, and goodness. Whenever the Holy Spirit mentions a word that many times, it must be important, and we should stop and consider it carefully.

Scripture reminds us over and over that God’s mercy “endures forever.” Even though God could take His mercy away at any time, He has chosen to do just the opposite. He expands it deeper than any person could go down into the depths of the sea. He stretches it higher than any person could possible travel through the light years of stellar space. And He extends it farther into the distance than the vanishing point (the point at which the human eye can no longer focus). Mercy or lovingkindness is what we have received from God and what He expects us to extend to others.

After meditating on several Scriptures concerning mercy, an attorney who was a believer, decided to cancel the debts of all his clients who had owed him money for more than 6 months. He drafted a letter explaining his decision and its biblical basis, and then sent 17 debt-canceling letters via certified mail. One by one, the letters began to return, unsigned and undelivered. Sixteen of the seventeen letters came back to him because the clients refused to sign for and open the envelopes, fearing the attorney was suing them for their debts. What a picture of most people’s reaction to God’s letter of forgiveness and mercy. We owe a debt for our sin, one God is willing to cancel, but too many people won’t even open the letter that explains how.

“LORD, we are humbled by Your mercy and forgiveness given to us. Help us to give back to others this day the same kind of mercy that we have received from You.”