Psalm 136 – God’s Steadfast Love Endures Forever
SummaryGod's steadfast love engenders thanks and praise in every generation.
This psalm is known in Jewish worship as the Great Hallel (or great hymn of praise). It is used in the Seder, the order for the Jewish observance of Passover. The structure suggests that the second half of each verse ("for his steadfast love endures forever") was said or sung as a refrain by the worshiping community in response to the recitation of God's saving acts throughout history.
The psalm recounts God's work of creation (vv. 4-9) and highlights the exodus and the gift of the land to God's people (vv. 10-22). These are the fundamental works of God for Israel (exodus and land) and for all (creation). Thus, Israel and all subsequent readers of the psalm can be assured of God's ongoing providence (v. 22) and join in the praise and thanks of all previous generations.