2 Lesson ObjectiveLesson 4: God’s Reach: A Psalm of Thanksgiving (Psalm 136)• Objective: The point of the lesson is that you would realize that acknowledging God’s work in their lives unlocks a richness in their relationship with Him, and that they would seize opportunities to thank God for His provision.
3 The Story of Psalm 136In this psalm, one group says something and another group answers. Perhaps it was the psalm they used in Ezra 3:11. There it says, "They answered each other, *praising and thanking the *LORD. They said, 'He is good. His kind love will always continue to Israel'.“The *Jews called this psalm "the great hallel". Other hallels are Psalms and 135. They are psalms that *praise the *LORD, (or tell the *LORD that he is really great). But this psalm is different from the other psalms. One group of people tell part of the story of what God has done. Then the other people repeat a chorus (some words that are the same each time). The chorus says, "Because his kind love will always continue". "Kind love" is a very special Bible word. The *Jews wrote the psalms in their own language, Hebrew. The Hebrew word we translated "kind love" is "hesed". Really, there is no English word that can translate "hesed". "Kind love" is the best we can do. It comes from the old English Bible that translated it "loving kindness".People have written a lot about "hesed". But we must remember that it means at least two things: · God does not have to love us but he still loves us; · God will always love us.Look again at the psalm. Really, verses 1-3 should come before every verse! That is why we put "Thank the *LORD because" before each part of the psalm. It is there to help us to remember this.
4 What Psalm 136 means There are 5 parts in this psalm: · verses 1-3 and 26 tell us to thank the *LORD; · verses 4-9 tell us that God made earth, sky, sun, moon and stars; · verses tell us how God saved the *Jews from Egypt; · verses tell us how God took his people from Egypt to Canaan; · verses tell us that God gives us all that we need.In verses 1 and 3 we have the words *LORD and *Lord. They are not the same word in Hebrew. *LORD is the *covenant name for God. A *covenant is when people agree. Here, God agrees to love his people and to give them help. His people agree to love and obey God. *Lord is a word for someone with authority. In Hebrew, "the *Lord who is the greatest *lord" is "*Lord of *lords".In verse 4, miracles are things that only God can do. Only he could make the earth, the moon, the stars and the sun.The firstborn in verse 10 means the first child (or animal) to be born to its parents.The *desert in verse 16 is the wild country between Egypt and Palestine. The old name for Palestine was Canaan. God gave this land as a gift to his people, verses 21 and 22. But they still had to fight to get into it.The enemies in verse 24 made them sad in verse 23.
5 Word Listcovenant ~ two people have agreed what each should do (here, God and his people). Look in Psalm 120 about the covenant.desert ~ a dry place with much sand.firstborn ~ the first child that a man and woman have.hallel ~ say that someone is great.heaven ~ the home of God.Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.LORD ~ the *covenant name for God (in a *covenant you agree with someone).miracles ~ great things that only God can do.praise ~ to say how great someone is; or, words that say how great someone is.(
6 New International Version (NIV) Psalm 136New International Version (NIV)1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. 2 Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. 3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.4 to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. 5 who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. 6 who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever. 7 who made the great lights— His love endures forever. 8 the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever. 9 the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt His love endures forever. 11 and brought Israel out from among them His love endures forever. 12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
7 New International Version (NIV) Psalm 136New International Version (NIV)His love endures forever.13 to him who divided the Red Sea[a] asunder His love endures forever. 14 and brought Israel through the midst of it, His love endures forever. 15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea; His love endures forever.16 to him who led his people through the wilderness; His love endures forever.17 to him who struck down great kings, His love endures forever. 18 and killed mighty kings— His love endures forever. .
8 New International Version (NIV) Psalm 136New International Version (NIV)19 Sihon king of the Amorites His love endures forever. 20 and Og king of Bashan— His love endures forever. 21 and gave their land as an inheritance, His love endures forever. 22 an inheritance to his servant Israel. His love endures forever.23 He remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever. 24 and freed us from our enemies. His love endures forever. 25 He gives food to every creature. His love endures forever.26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever
10 Discussion Questions Psalms Chapter 136 1) What call introduces and concludes this psalm, according to these verses of this book? (Psalms 136:1-3), (Psalms 136:26)2) What is the emphasis, of the psalm’s refrain in verses one through twenty-six? (Psalms 136:1-26)3) What is the focus of this praise psalm, according to verse one through twenty-six? (Psalms 136:1-26)4) Why should God’s people offer Him thanks, according to these verses? (Psalms 136:1-26)5) What does the psalm reveal about God’s interest in creation in verses four through nine? (Psalms 136:4-9)