Psalm 136 highlights eight reasons we can give thanks to the Lord.
- Thank God for His goodness.
Right out of the chute, verse one highlights a huge reason we need to give thanks. It says that God is good. God is good. Because He is good, you can trust Him. You can’t always know what someone’s motives are like. People can talk a good talk. You can be fooled. You never have to wonder what God’s agenda is, what He is up to. He only wants that which is for your good. He is so good that He can and does cause even the bad things we deal with to turn out for our good. Romans 8:28 says that He causes all things to work in our favor, to work for our benefit, for our good as we continue to live to want to see His purposes advance in our lives.
Psalm 23 says that the goodness of God follows us around. That is a reality because He never leaves us and won’t forsake us, Hebrews 13:5. Where God goes, His goodness, goes, and guess what, God and His goodness go with you!
So, you can thank God because He is good.
The second reason I see, from our text, that you can thank God is this:
- Thank God because He is in a league all by Himself.
Verses 2, 3, and 4 talk about how He is the God of gods. He is the Lord of lords. He alone does great wonders. We can give thanks to God because He is a miracle-working God. He does things that defy logic. He can even defy the laws of the universe when He so chooses because, well, after all, He created them! There is no power greater than He. No earthly power can match Him. No evil power can overtake Him. No one can unturn anything He does or stop anything He purposes. He is supreme.
God can do anything, at any time, in any place for anyone because He has unlimited power and authority. He is in a league of His own. Give thanks that you can know Him as Savior and Friend.
- Thank God for creating all that is.
Verses 5-9 speak about all that God has Created. Nature points to His majesty and creativity. It points to His love and generosity towards us. He has made it all for us to enjoy! Whether you fish or hike or just like to look at the stars, He has given you a way to see Him, to appreciate His vast power and genius. When snow blankets the earth, it will be beautiful. If you have enjoyed the splendor of a waterfall, the serenity of a slowly moving brook, the sweetness of the birds, squirrels and beauty of the wildlife that dot our landscape, if you have stood in awe of the Grand Canyon or been privileged to see the many geysers, hot springs or volcanoes that all have something to say about God’s brilliant design and power, you can be thankful that you know the Creator.
The fourth reason this text tells us we can give thanks is certainly no small thing. Verses 10-15 speak about how God brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. That history, that story, is a type and shadow of how you and I are born into the slavery of sin and how Satan has a grip on us as we enter this world because we are born with a sin nature, a propensity to sin. We have a desire for the things of the flesh which are never satisfied, which always demand we pay attention to them. We are captured early by vices that demand we listen to them and satisfy whatever their demands may be. We cannot escape the pull. We cannot escape the consequences of shame, destruction and death on our own. We are born separated from God and we are born as slaves to sin. But God, who is rich in love and mercy and who is perfect in power, sent Jesus to rescue us. Oh, friends, Jesus came on a search and rescue mission, and guess what? He was successful. His righteous sacrifice on the cross paid the price for the sins of humanity so that we could go free from those eternal consequences and so that we could move through the doorway of death into eternity in Heaven with Him. This morning, if you are a Christian, you can
- Thank God for bringing you out of the bondage of sin.
The fifth thing I will mention is that you can
- Thank God for sticking with you in the wilderness moments.
Verse 16 speaks to this. The Israelites didn’t always obey perfectly. They didn’t always get it right. It cost them years in the wilderness, but God didn’t leave them to fend for themselves. In those moments when they were straying, He was still taking care of them. Anyone know what I am talking about this morning? Anybody here had a few wilderness seasons? Anybody do some dumb stuff? Anybody disobey God and get yourself into a situation? Thank God we have a Savior not just for salvation, but He is our Savior when we get ourselves into wilderness situations! Guess what? Our God knows the way through the wilderness.
This Psalm also tells us we can
- Thank God for taking care of our enemies. I am referencing verse 24 here.
Satan is your enemy. Jesus has triumphed over Satan through His death, burial and resurrection and has forever sealed Satan’s fate. The devil’s time is limited, and his doom is sure. Death was your enemy as there was the possibility that you would be separated from God forever in an eternity in Hell, but if you are a believer, there is no threat of that anymore. Death and anything it claimed over you, has been destroyed. As for earthly enemies. You will face those. Just remember, while they may pose as humans you encounter, our enemies aren’t flesh and blood, but they are the principalities and powers of this world, evil spirits that tempt and lure people into ways of behaving that bring complications and challenges to attempt to thwart the Kingdom of God. Trust me. They are no match for Him.
No weapon that is used in an attempted assault on your life will be successful, Isaiah 54:17. God will guard you and when needed, God will vindicate you. God will deal with your enemies.
The seventh reason you can give thanks to God that I see here, is that you can
- Thank God for daily provision.
Verse 25 says He gives food to every creature. God looks after His Creation. He looks after you. He provides for you. He is in the details.
Finally, Psalm 136 offers an eighth reason why we can give thanks to God this season.
- Thank God because His love endures forever! God’s love is indestructible.
Nothing can separate you from His love, Romans 8:39. Nothing you have done or will ever do will change the way God feels about you. You can’t out-sin God’s love for you. You can’t remain in sin and avoid the consequences that come with it, but you can’t sin beyond where God’s love can redeem you. His love for you is everlasting. It is unconditional. He won’t reject you if you come to Him with a confession or need.
Today, you are blessed and highly favored to have access to God. You have so many reasons to be thankful. These 8 reasons to give thanks flow from a heart that is in a relationship with our loving God. Start this holiday season by giving thanks with me to the One from whom all blessings flow.