Psalm 136:26

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 26. O give thanks unto the God of heaven. The title is full of honour. The Lord is God in the highest realms, and among celestial beings. His throne is set in glory, above all, out of reach of foes, in the place of universal oversight. He who feeds ravens and sparrows is yet the glorious God of the highest realms. Angels count it their glory to proclaim his glory in every heavenly street. See herein the greatness of his nature, the depth of his condescension, and the range of his love. Mark the one sole cause of his bounty --

For his mercy endureth for ever. He hath done all things from this motive; and because his mercy never ceases, he will continue to multiply deeds of love world without end. Let us with all our powers of heart and tongue give thanks unto the holy name of Jehovah for ever and ever.

"Change and decay in all around I see,
O thou who changest not, abide with me."

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 26. The God of heaven. The phrase "God of heaven" is not found in the earlier Scriptures. We meet it nowhere else in the Psalms; but we meet it in 2 Chronicles 36:23 Ezra 1:2 5:11-12 6:9 7:12,23 Nehemiah 1:4 2:4 Daniel 2:18-19 Daniel 2:44 Jonah 1:9 . It is twice found in the Apocalypse, Revelation 11:13 16:11. It is a sublime and appropriate designation of the true God, expressive of his glorious elevation above the passions and perturbations of earth. To him all flesh should give thanks, for all receive his mercy in many forms and ways. His favours come down on generation after generation, and to his willing, obedient people they shall flow on during eternal ages. --William Swan Plumer.

Verse 26. My brethren, God's mercies are from everlasting; and it is a treasure that can never be spent, never exhausted, unto eternity. In Isaiah 64:5 , we read, "In thy mercy is continuance." If God will but continue to be merciful to me, will a poor soul say, I have enough. Why, saith he, "in his mercies is continuance, and we shall be saved." Hath God pardoned thee hitherto? but hast thou sinned again? Can he stretch his goodness and mercy a little further? Why, he will stretch them out unto eternity, unto everlasting; and if one everlasting be not enough, there are twenty-six everlastings in this one Psalm. In Isaiah 54:8 , "In a little wrath I hid my face from thee, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee." --Thomas Goodwin.

Verse 26. O give thanks unto the God of heaven. His mercy in providing heaven for his people is more than all the rest. --John Trapp.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 26. Consider,

  1. How he rules in heaven.
  2. How he rules earth from heaven.
  3. How mercy is the eternal element of that rule, and therefore he is the eternal object of praise.