|Who saved Pastor Rob from the icy waters of Lake Michigan
For his steadfast love endures forever.
Put a statement of thanks to God at the beginning and at the endmake up an original statementand then you are ready to recite your own litany!
INSIGHTS FROM THE SCRIPTURE:
Psalm 136 is the great Hallel (hallelujah song) for Sabbath services for Jewish worshippers today. It is quite probable that this song was used frequently in ancient Israelite worship too, the leader giving the first line of each verse and the congregation repeating the same refrain of for his steadfast love endures forever. It is clear that this poem is meant to be spoken out loud; the cadence and rhythm are simply beautiful.
As in Psalm 145, the reason for thanks is twofoldthe creation of the physical universe and the creation of a people. Verses 4-9 thank God for such things as the moon and the stars, and for the earth coming forth out of the waters. This physical creation is a sign of Gods steadfast love (see Insights into Scripture in the previous lesson for more on steadfast love).
The second reason for such an outburst of thanksgiving is Gods creation of a people. Verses 10-22 retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt, the journey through the wilderness, and finally the possession of the land of Canaan. Here God acts in specific historical situations, such as rescuing the people from terrible oppression under the Pharaoh in Egypt, saving them from kings they met in the wilderness (Sihon and Og) and giving them the land promised to their ancestor Abraham long ago. God changes the events of history; God interrupts what seems likely to happenbecause of his steadfast or covenant love. And all this happens before the people deserve it. This understanding of a God who works in history is radical for this time period. And, because it is still true today, it is cause for a great expression of gratitude in our time as well as theirs!
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