Ps. 136:1 – Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever
This is one of the famous lines from the Psalms of David. It was sung at the dedication of Solomon’s temple and it was the song sung by the Levites as they marched before Jehoshaphat’s army leading them in victory. To me, it is a perfect song. It gives a glimpse of why we give thanks and worship the Lord, because He is good and His mercy endures forever. A glimpse of the goodness of the Lord brings us to a place of worship. When the paralyzed man was healed in Peter’s house everyone began to glorify the Lord, when the woman who was bent over for eighteen years was healed she began to glorify the Lord, when Jesus fed the multitudes they began to glorify God. Seeing His goodness brings us to the place of giving thanks to the Lord. Here is how Spurgeon describes this verse.
“We thank our parents, let us praise our heavenly Father; we are grateful to our benefactors, let us give thanks unto the Giver of all good. For he is good. Essentially he is goodness itself, practically all that he does is good, relatively he is good to his creatures. Let us thank him that we have seen, proved, and tasted that he is good. He is good beyond all others: indeed, he alone is good in the highest sense; he is the source of good, the good of all good, the sustainer of good, the perfecter of good, and the rewarder of good. For this he deserves the constant gratitude of his people. For his mercy endures for ever. We shall have this repeated in every verse of this song, but not once too often. It is the sweetest stanza that a man can sing. What joy that there is mercy, mercy with Jehovah, enduring mercy, mercy enduring for ever. We are ever needing it, trying it, praying for it, receiving it: therefore let us for ever sing of it.”
The Lord’s very essence is goodness. We see His goodness in all His works, His goodness was on full display in the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth, and His goodness is poured out on all of us through the immersion into the Holy Spirit. What else can we say but, “the Lord is good and His mercy endures forever”.