Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalm 136; Psalm 146-150
Years ago I regularly played the organ for weddings; a very stressful job! One of the most popular wedding songs was “Always and Forever,” By Luther Vandross. Not to be cynical, but forever in marriage is a relatively short time. The world record holders are Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher at 84 years. While 84 years is really impressive, it’s not what I would call “forever.”
I looked up the word, forever on Dictionary.net and it’s defined: Through eternity; through endless ages; eternally. [1913 Webster] An interesting side note—it’s the same definition Webster gave in 1913. I guess it’s a pretty solid definition. In Hebrew, for ever means for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world.
In today’s reading we get to sit in on an amazing worship service, Come with me as I imagine how this once in a lifetime worship service could have happened:
The priests have prepared for this day for a year. They had heard rumors that the Spirit of God was going to visit the temple in a mighty way during this particular feast. Every Sunday and Wednesday they have practiced for a special praise service for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Every man, woman, boy, and girl is thrilled to be participating, thrilled at the possibility of being within a mile of the Spirit of God, thrilled to be able to thank their God for His works of creation, and providence.
The priests, who were anointed to write the inspired Word of God, searched the sacred writings for a year to find God’s most amazing accomplishments to add to the verses of the song. It was important to them that their Heavenly Father knew they appreciated EVERYTHING He had done for them.
So the day was finally here. Everyone gathered at the temple. There were people everywhere—inside, outside, on the roof!
The priests blew the shofar to signal the beginning of the praise service. They began with Psalm 136—as the priest announced each amazing accomplishment of the Lord, everyone, at the top of their lungs, would say—
His Faithful Love Endures Forever!
26 verses of God’s goodness and the people’s thankfulness! 26 times they declared God’s love endures “always and forever,” one time per verse, and it’s the real forever not the wedding song forever.
Then the people sang five additional songs that began and ended with the same phrase:
Psalm 146—Praise the Lord
Psalm 147—Praise the Lord
Psalm 148—Praise the Lord
Psalm 149—Praise the Lord
Then they came to the final song of the day, Psalm 150. Twelve times they sang praise God or praise Him. In unison EVERYONE shouted to the top of their lungs the final verse…
Let everything that breathes sing praise to the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Amen and Amen!!
Because His faithful love endures forever!
We are so blessed today. The Spirit of God lives within each of us who have accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior, we don’t have to wait for a year, or a lifetime as in the days of some of the prophets, to be within city blocks of His presence.
Do we take his presence for granted?
Do we take His “Always and Forever” love for granted?
Most of us aren’t called to write songs, but I challenge you to plan some time to get alone with God and make your own psalm 136. List each thing you’re thankful for and write below it, “His faithful love endures forever.” Challenge yourself to come up with 26 verses of your song, just like psalm 136.
Let Everything that breathes sing praise to the Lord! Praise the Lord! His faithful love endures forever!
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 18:1 through Isaiah 23:18