“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.”
This chorus echos the praises from Psalms 100:5 and 106:1. This was the chorus that brought down the manifest Presence of God at the dedication of the Temple in Solomon’s day. This was the song in battle in the time of King Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:18-22). It is the song of those who have been touched by the enduring steadfast love of God.
The Enduring Grace of God
In our passage above the word translated “love” here is the Hebrew word “chesedh,” most often rendered as “mercy” in the Old Testament. Chesedh literally means “grace” or “steadfast love.” We know that the word grace carries the ideas of “undeserved favor” and divine empowerment.”
Here we see that God’s grace is unending! This eternal undeserved favor to broken sinful people (as we all are), is what inspired former atheist slave trader John Newton to write; “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…”
It is by grace we live and move and have our being in this world. Were it not for God’s unending grace toward all humanity none of us would be alive today. In the face of such wickedness in the world, God has chosen to be eternally gracious to a sinful world by sending Christ for the forgiveness of our sinfulness…Undeserved favor indeed.
Grace For All
God’s amazing grace is for all who are on the earth. We as sinful people saved by grace, tend to plea for God’s mercy and grace because of our sins, while at the same time applying the law to others. The religious leaders in Jesus’ day weren’t singing the chorus of Psalm 106:1 when it came to others.
John tells us that “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:16-17).
Like the Pharisees and Sadducees, the pride and arrogance of our fallen sinful nature can sometimes cause us to forget that we all are in need of God’s undeserved favor 24/7. This is what makes God’s unending grace so amazing… not a single one of us deserves it! Paul writes to the Church in Rome; “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24).
No More Condemnation His Love Endures Forever
Have you ever been discouraged by things you’ve seen within yourself and wonder how God puts up with you? Have you ever condemned yourself and felt like throwing up your hands saying “enough, I can’t do this anymore?” Paul experienced these same things and wrote about it in Romans chapter 7. “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25).
Paul then proclaims “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).
His Unending Grace is Sufficient
Our inherent desire to earn points with God and to fix ourselves when we’re a mess, is actually a common symptom of our fallen sinful condition. It is by grace (undeserved favor) and grace alone that we are to live, and receive help from God. Much of the time our solutions to a problem are not God’s solutions.
Paul was ready to throw up his hands when he pleaded with God to take away what was troubling him. “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). It is when we catch glimpses of ourselves at our worst, that God is at His best!
So, follow the Psalmist and “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.” Remember that “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (Psalm 145:8-9). Whatever your situation, Be confident in God’s love for you, Rest in His Presence, Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and Be Encouraged! -JSP