Years ago, my four-year-old son gave me a framed wooden heart mounted on a metal plate with the word forever painted in its center. “I love you forever, Mommy,” he said.
I thanked him with a hug. “I love you more.”
That priceless gift still assures me of my son’s never-ending love. On tough days, God uses that sweet present to comfort and encourage me as He affirms I’m deeply loved.
The frame also reminds me of the gift of God’s everlasting love, as expressed throughout His Word and confirmed by His Spirit. We can trust God’s unchanging goodness and sing grateful praises that confirm His enduring love, as the psalmist does (Psalm 136:1). We can exalt the Lord as greater than and above all (vv. 2–3), as we reflect on His endless wonders and unlimited understanding (vv. 4–5). The God who loves us forever is the conscious and caring Maker of the heavens and earth, who maintains control of time itself (vv. 6–9).
We can rejoice because the everlasting love the psalmist sang about is the same continuing love our all-powerful Creator and Sustainer pours into the lives of His children today. No matter what we’re facing, the One who made us and remains with us strengthens us by asserting He loves us unconditionally and completely. Thank You, God, for the countless reminders of Your endless and life-transforming love!
God, please help us to love You and others, as we become more confident in Your never-ending love for us.
Psalm 136 is structured around the refrain “His love endures forever,” which is repeated each second measure. This clause seems to have been used often in Israel’s liturgies (see 1 Chronicles 16:34; 2 Chronicles 5:13; 7:3; 20:21; Ezra 3:11; Psalm 100:5; 106:1; 107:1).
The word in this refrain that the New International Version translates “love” is the Hebrew word hesed, a central theological term in both this psalm and in the Old Testament. Hesed, sometimes translated “steadfast love,” refers to a love that’s reliable and faithful. Hesed is a love towards another shown not just in emotion or words but in action, through dependably working for the good of the one loved.
Psalm 136, echoing the description of creation in Genesis 1:5–9, describes hesed as the defining quality of God. For all of time, God has been working for the good of not only His people but all of creation.