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Psalm 136 | Oh Give Thanks

Jesus & Me in the Psalms   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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SCRIPTURE READING
Psalm 136 KJV
1 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: For his mercy endureth for ever. 2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: For his mercy endureth for ever. 3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: For his mercy endureth for ever. 4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: For his mercy endureth for ever. 5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: For his mercy endureth for ever. 6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: For his mercy endureth for ever. 7 To him that made great lights: For his mercy endureth for ever: 8 The sun to rule by day: For his mercy endureth for ever: 9 The moon and stars to rule by night: For his mercy endureth for ever. 10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: For his mercy endureth for ever: 11 And brought out Israel from among them: For his mercy endureth for ever: 12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: For his mercy endureth for ever. 13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: For his mercy endureth for ever: 14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: For his mercy endureth for ever: 15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: For his mercy endureth for ever. 16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: For his mercy endureth for ever. 17 To him which smote great kings: For his mercy endureth for ever: 18 And slew famous kings: For his mercy endureth for ever: 19 Sihon king of the Amorites: For his mercy endureth for ever: 20 And Og the king of Bashan: For his mercy endureth for ever: 21 And gave their land for an heritage: For his mercy endureth for ever: 22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: For his mercy endureth for ever. 23 Who remembered us in our low estate: For his mercy endureth for ever: 24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: For his mercy endureth for ever. 25 Who giveth food to all flesh: For his mercy endureth for ever. 26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: For his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 136:1–4 KJV
1 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: For his mercy endureth for ever. 2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: For his mercy endureth for ever. 3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: For his mercy endureth for ever. 4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: For his mercy endureth for ever.
INTRO
presents a case for giving thanks to God.
It implores the follower of God to recognize the love, kindness, faithfulness, and mercy of God.
It takes the Jewish worshiper of Jehovah back into their history and displays God’s many provisions and characteristics that call for offerings of thanks.
It repeats over and over again that God’s mercy never runs out. It is a well that never runs dry.
God is always worthy of our thanksgiving!
What is far to common is that people go through life without (1) paying attention to what God and others do and are and (2) without communicating the goodness they see.
Giving thanks is healthy for the giver especially.
Consider this illustration once written in a book:
1001 Illustrations that Connect Illustration 737: Thanks for the Trees

I was helping a friend plant a tree at the local park. She had planted twenty-three trees already, most of them without any help. The trees were donated by family members in remembrance of loved ones. While we were working, a woman approached us. I recognized her and assumed she was there to say thank you.

“Remember the tree you planted for me the other day?” she asked.

My friend nodded.

“You planted it too close to the road. It needs to be moved.” Then she turned and left.

I don’t think this woman was intentionally rude. She was probably distracted, or maybe she’d had a bad day, but, still—of the twenty-three trees my friend planted, only two people remembered to say, “Thank you.”

As followers of Christ, we should not be the ones who only see and communicate the one thing wrong in a row of goodness. We need to intentionally see and communicate gratitude.
Let me give you one more illustration of people simply not paying attention or communicating thanks for what would be most obviously deserving of gratitude:
10,000 Sermon Illustrations Thankfulness—A Lost Art Today

Thankfulness seems to be a lost art today. Warren Wiersbe illustrated this problem in his commentary on Colossians. He told about a ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.

Now directing our attention to our text, , we see a call to give thanks unto the One Who most deserves to receive it.
PROPOSITION
A case is given for why God deserves it.
Now God does not need to receive thanksgiving, but we need to see and give it!
We cannot live healthy, spiritual, obedient lives without seeing and communicating thanks, first to God, and secondly to others.
TRANSITION
Let us now look into the reasons given by the psalmist for giving thanks to God:
EXPOSITION

1) God alone is God.

Psalm 136:1–4 KJV
1 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: For his mercy endureth for ever. 2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: For his mercy endureth for ever. 3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: For his mercy endureth for ever. 4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: For his mercy endureth for ever.
Ps 136:

2) God alone is Creator.

Psalm 136:5–9 KJV
5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: For his mercy endureth for ever. 6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: For his mercy endureth for ever. 7 To him that made great lights: For his mercy endureth for ever: 8 The sun to rule by day: For his mercy endureth for ever: 9 The moon and stars to rule by night: For his mercy endureth for ever.
Ps 136:5-

3) God sovereignly delivers.

Psalm 136:10–16 KJV
10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: For his mercy endureth for ever: 11 And brought out Israel from among them: For his mercy endureth for ever: 12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: For his mercy endureth for ever. 13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: For his mercy endureth for ever: 14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: For his mercy endureth for ever: 15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: For his mercy endureth for ever. 16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: For his mercy endureth for ever.

4) God powerfully leads.

Psalm 136:17–22 KJV
17 To him which smote great kings: For his mercy endureth for ever: 18 And slew famous kings: For his mercy endureth for ever: 19 Sihon king of the Amorites: For his mercy endureth for ever: 20 And Og the king of Bashan: For his mercy endureth for ever: 21 And gave their land for an heritage: For his mercy endureth for ever: 22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: For his mercy endureth for ever.

5) God personally provides.

Psalm 136:23–24 KJV
23 Who remembered us in our low estate: For his mercy endureth for ever: 24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: For his mercy endureth for ever.
Ps 136:

6) God generally provides.

Psalm 136:25 KJV
25 Who giveth food to all flesh: For his mercy endureth for ever.
Ps 136:

7) God is above all.

Psalm 136:26 KJV
26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: For his mercy endureth for ever.
CONCLUSION

Thankfulness ought to be a characteristic of our life in Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Thankfulness ought to be a characteristic of our life in Christ.

We ought to give God thanks always for all things.

Ephesians 5:20 KJV
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

We ought to give God thanks always for all things.

The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Eleven: Heaven in Your Home (Ephesians 5:18–33)

Someone defined the home as “the place where we are treated the best—and complain the most!” How true this is! “My father never talks to me unless he wants to bawl me out or ask about my grades,” a teenager once told me. “After all, a guy needs some encouragement once in a while!” Marriage counselors tell us that “taking each other for granted” is one of the chief causes of marital problems. Being thankful to God for each other is a secret of a happy home, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives us the grace of thankfulness.

How does a grateful heart promote harmony in the home? For one thing, the sincerely grateful person realizes that he is enriched because of others, which is a mark of humility. The person who thinks the world owes him a living is never thankful for anything. He thinks he is doing others a favor by permitting them to serve him. The thankful heart is usually humble, a heart that gladly acknowledges God as the “Giver of every good and perfect gift” (James 1:17). Like Mary’s gift to Jesus in John 12, gratitude fills the house with fragrance.

To be sure, all of us are grateful for some things at some special occasions; but Paul commanded his readers to be thankful for all things at all times. This exhortation in itself proves our need of the Spirit of God, because in our own strength we could never obey this commandment. Can we really be thankful in times of suffering, disappointment, and even bereavement? Keep in mind that Paul was a prisoner when he wrote those words, yet he was thankful for what God was doing in him and for him (Eph. 1:16; 5:4, 20; Phil. 1:3; Col. 1:3, 12; 2:7; 3:17; 4:2). When a Christian finds himself in a difficult situation, he should immediately give thanks to the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Spirit, to keep his heart from complaining and fretting. The devil moves in when a Christian starts to complain, but thanksgiving in the Spirit defeats the devil and glorifies the Lord. “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thes. 5:18).

The word gratitude comes from the same root word as grace. If we have experienced the grace of God, then we ought to be grateful for what God brings to us. Thank and think also come from the same root word. If we would think more, we would thank more.

How to practically apply these principles:

1) Look for good.

2) Think and write about what you see.

3) Intentionally communicate it to others.

4) Thank God always.

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