Saturday, February 21, 2015


by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

    The title of today’s message is from each of the first four verses of Psalm 118. The phrase, “For His mercy endureth forever” is repeated in each verse. 

    But more than that, the same words are repeated in 39 other verses in the Old 
Testament, and similar words in two more verses. (Psalms 100:5 and 138:8).

    From 1 Chronicles 16:4 to Jeremiah 33:11, God has His scribes repeat the words 45 times. There is a predominant number of these instances in the Book of Psalms, but many are also found in I & II Chronicles. Jewish tradition credits Ezra with the writing of the two Books of Chronicles, therefore, he would have written them during the Babylonian captivity. 

    With David writing many of the Psalms, then it is clear that when “His mercy endureth forever” is put on paper, these are times of stress and hardship, both for King David, and for the nation of Israel herself. Hardship led the Holy Spirit to inspire Ezra, to inspire the Psalmists, and to inspire the Prophet Jeremiah to write of the hope that anchored their hearts and souls. Jeremiah wrote the words during his imprisonment! They are meant to carry us through until the difficulty has passed.  

    So a pattern emerges within the Old Testament: In the hardest of times, we are to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness repeatedly and with the greatest of hardships, ever more frequently! Meditating on the promises of God immediately takes our minds off the trouble, and puts God and Jesus Christ at the center of our thoughts. In the most practical of ways, doing that brings every thought into the captivity of Jesus Christ.  

    In the New Testament, we don’t find those words together anywhere. They pointed to Christ Jesus, and in the New Testament we find that “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.” Throughout the Gospel, Jesus’ mercy is evident everywhere He went, teaching, healing, and touching people’s lives. We are comforted that He is also with His church, continuing to teach, heal, and comfort us.

Whatever problem we will face this week, or at any time…
“His mercy endureth forever.”

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