16To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
17To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
18And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
19Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
20And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
21And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
22Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
23Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
24And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
25Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
26O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(Psalm 136:16-26, King James Version)
As the writer of Psalm 136 continued the history lesson he began earlier in this Psalm, he reminded his readers that it is to Him, to the Lord God Almighty, that all thanks, honor, and praise is owed. As he recounted the mighty kings which God removed from the land that He might give that same land to His people, he reminded the people that God always cared for their needs. He took them from the land of Egypt, provided for them during the years of wilderness wandering, and brought them safely into the land He had promised to them. What lessons are we to learn from this recounting of history?
It is God, our First Love, who orders and directs our lives, keeping us from paths we should not take, and leading us beside quiet waters, restoring our souls, and refreshing us in the middle of the storms of this life. When things go well, we are reminded of God's great ordering of our lives and His wondrous protective care. When things go badly, we are reminded to look to Him, our great God and King, to bring us safely through the deep, dark valleys, and into His glorious light.
History is an interesting subject. In school, the history we are taught is tainted by the philosophy or values of those teaching the course, or writing the text book. Those in Christian schools will most likely be taught that God is the author of History. History is just the retelling of His Story--the works He has done one behalf of man since the creation of this world. Those in secular schools will be taught the glory of man, as the stronger overcame the weaker creating a natural evolution to a more perfect world.
Even religious history is tainted by the beliefs of those doing the teaching. A retelling of the period of the reformation, for example, will be heavily influenced by the doctrinal views of those doing the teaching. It was an amazing time in the history of mankind. You literally had Christians killing Christians as they fought, often over fine points of doctrine. One cannot fault the zealousness for teaching the truths of God's Word, but it is still a sad time in the history of man.
What are we to think of the time in which we live where everything is tolerated except the true teaching and believing of God's Holy Word? How are we as believers to think of our rulers? How are we to view the laws of this land when they continue to trample down the plain teaching of God's Holy Word?
Like the Psalmist, let us look to Him, to the Lord our God who orders our lives. When called to suffer for Him, let us pray that we will so love God, our Father, that we will count it joy to suffer for Him. Let us, like the Psalmist, recount history from the perspective of God's protection and care over His faithful servants. Let us look to Him for strength and wisdom, and not be overcome with fear or anger over the apostasy that is sweeping the entire world.
Is this time a surprise to God? As we read the news, is God surprised at the events that are unfolding? No! As believers, we are watching the carpet of God's planning for this world slowly unroll. What He has prophesied is coming to pass exactly as He said it would. There are no surprises to God, for we are seeing His true plans, determined before time began, come to pass exactly as He has ordered them.
In all of this what do we see? We see that God's mercy endures forever! Go, then, and do as the Psalmist proclaimed, "O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever."
God Bless You,