Based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Growing in Grace is a blog by Pastor Matthew Molesky. His posts explore the Bible, theology, ecclesiology, culture, books, family, and life.

Yahweh’s Committed Love Soothes My Often-Troubled Soul

Almost every morning I take time to be with my divine Father. I use the Read Scripture app to determine the schedule of my reading from God’s Word, but I prefer paper over screens. Therefore, the two volumes I am currently using to hear from Yahweh are Alec Motyer’s devotional translation of the Psalms (Psalms By The Day) and my ESV Reader’s Edition (the six-volume set). 

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This morning I found myself in the 136th Psalm. At its conclusion, Motyer had this to say, which moved me toward meditation on Yahweh’s committed love, which then soothed (and is still soothing) my often-troubled soul.

“Let’s face it — our immediate reaction to twenty-six statements that Yahweh’s love is eternal, committed and changeless is ‘boring.’ We tire of the repeated refrain, but it ought not to be so. His love for us is one of the high points of the Bible, and, by rights, we should be progressively and increasingly thrilled.
 
Try it again.
 
Read the Psalm, revel in the refrain — not like a repetitive, parroted ritual but as a wondering and exciting affirmation. It is the abiding grounding of the whole work of God, creation to new creation; it is the reason for every single thing he has ever done. It is the comforting, reassuring truth for the difficult day, when we walk through the wilderness (136:16); it is the inexplicable reason for the great day when our particular Sihons and Ogs fall (136:19-20), or we experience a bit more of our eternal inheritance (136:21-22)….
 
If ever we sing in our hymn, ‘Jesus, what didst Thou find in me/That Thou hast dealt so lovingly?’ the answer is as early as Deuteronomy 7:7-8: he ‘set his love on you’… ‘because (he) loves you’. The answer is as total as Psalm 136. Love to the power of 26! Not in our greatness, worthiness, importance, significance — whatever — did he love us, but in our negligibility, when we were ‘without strength…sinners…enemies’ (Romans 5:6-10). ‘Love to the loveless shown,/That they might lovely be’— becoming like the God we worship.”

God. Loves. Us.

With a never-changing, never-stopping, forever love.

Be comforted and soothed. Delight in this.


Psalm 136:1Give thanks to the Yahweh, for he is good! 

His committed love endures forever. 

2 Give thanks to the God of gods. 

His committed love endures forever. 

3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords. 

His committed love endures forever. 

4 Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. 

His committed love endures forever. 

5 Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully. 

His committed love endures forever. 

6 Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters. 

His committed love endures forever. 

7 Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights— 

His committed love endures forever. 

8 the sun to rule the day, 

His committed love endures forever. 

9 and the moon and stars to rule the night. 

His committed love endures forever. 

10 Give thanks to him who killed the firstborn of Egypt. 

His committed love endures forever. 

11 He brought Israel out of Egypt. 

His committed love endures forever. 

12 He acted with a strong hand and powerful arm. 

His committed love endures forever. 

13 Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. 

His committed love endures forever. 

14 He led Israel safely through, 

His committed love endures forever. 

15 but he hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea. 

His committed love endures forever. 

16 Give thanks to him who led his people through the wilderness. 

His committed love endures forever. 

17 Give thanks to him who struck down mighty kings. 

His committed love endures forever. 

18 He killed powerful kings— 

His committed love endures forever. 

19 Sihon king of the Amorites, 

His committed love endures forever. 

20 and Og king of Bashan. 

His committed love endures forever. 

21 God gave the land of these kings as an inheritance— 

His committed love endures forever. 

22 a special possession to his servant Israel. 

His committed love endures forever. 

23 He remembered us in our weakness. 

His committed love endures forever. 

24 He saved us from our enemies. 

His committed love endures forever. 

25 He gives food to every living thing. 

His committed love endures forever. 

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. 

His committed love endures forever.

An Evening Prayer For Yahweh's Servants

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