10To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:
11And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
12With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
13To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
14And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:
15But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(Psalm 136:10-15, King James Version)
A Look into the Past
The writer of Psalm 136 continued this Psalm with a look into the past, recounting God's working on behalf of His people when they were enslaved by the nation of Egypt. He recounts the beginning of the great Exodus after the firstborn in Egypt were slain by the angel of God. With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm God brought them forth, dividing the Red sea into parts so were able to cross on dry land through the middle of the sea, and then bringing the waters back upon Pharaoh and his army. It was a miraculous time, indeed.
One would think the lessons learned during that time would have never been forgotten by the people of God, but oh how soon they forgot this God they served. Sometimes, when reading of the children of Israel during the time of their wilderness wandering, it is easy to become impatient with their constant grumbling, murmuring against the Lord, and rebellion. With God right there, visible by the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, how could they even think of disobeying?
Then, when we take an honest look into our own hearts, we realize that we are equally as forgetful. Though we have the entire Word of God at our disposals, how quickly we become so engrossed in our daily lives that we forget the God we love and serve. How laborious our service to the Lord can seem when we prefer to enjoy the pleasures of this world.
It is not wrong to enjoy the good things God has given to us, but it is wrong if those very things keep us from living and serving the Lord faithfully. Perhaps that is the very point the Psalmist was trying to make when he wrote the words of this Psalm. With its continual response: "For His mercy endureth for ever," it was often sung antiphonally in their worship services.
We have, historically, often done the same thing. Battle cries such as, "Remember the Alamo," were used to spur on the troops in the battle over Texas. Cries of, "Remember Pearl Harbor," were often shouted during the years of World War II to spur on the American soldiers.
Let us, then, as we read through this Psalms, take some time for a look into the past, not only during the years of Biblical history, but even the past years of our own lives. Let us remember the days we first believed. Let us remember the many times God has miraculously intervened on our behalf. Let us remember the sins that God has kept us from.
We serve a risen Savior who sits at the right hand of God, right now, interceding for us. How amazing is that? So, take a look into the past, and let it spur you on into the future to faithfully love and serve God all of the days of your life on this earth.
God Bless You,