Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, his greatness is unsearchable (Psalm 145:3). While mortal man may not be able to comprehend the vast extent of God’s nature, we are able to comprehend that which has been revealed to us (1Co 2:10). In Psalm 40:5, David confesses his inability to tell everything about this incomparable God; O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.
Throughout Psalm 136, the Psalmist catalogues God’s great love. Twenty-six times, the reader is reminded that the Lord, “his steadfast love endures forever.” Readers cannot help but have their thinking reinforced by this dependable part of God’s nature. As with any discussion on the nature of God, His love is not only inexhaustible but consistently manifests His holy compassion for His children.
As believers, we were physically born, then spiritually reborn (1Pe 1:3), for the purpose of worship (Eph 1:5-6). It is we who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus… (Philippians 3:3). Therefore, our first response to information about God is to give thanks to the Lord (Psa 136:1-3) for He stands above all as God of gods and Lord of lords. Even though the Psalms expose us to the rainbow of God’s majestic greatness, they barely touch the infinite expanse of His wonderous character. A beautify part of God’s nature is that “his steadfast love endures forever” despite our many failings and unworthy natures.
The Lord’s love is dramatically different to mankind’s idea of love. Human love which we often see fleshed out in society and relationships is conditional, temporary, and unholy. Many of us can testify to the contaminated expressions of so-called human love which we have endured. But not so with God!
To begin with, God loves simply because God is love (1 John 4:8). Love is not just an emotion that comes and goes with Him as He feels like it. God’s love does not change or fluctuate as it is not impacted by circumstances or events. God’s love is a holy, sinless love – pure and faultless. His love is powerful because God all powerful. We should be very glad of this, because His love can not be damaged or reversed. As the supreme authority, God’s love is sovereign and therefore unchallenged. Therefore, Paul could say, I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
God’s love is intertwined with every other divine attribute that He contains within His eternal essence. It is therefore unmistakable that God is gracious and merciful in His love to we sinners. Martin Luther said, “God does not love us because we are valuable, but we are valuable because God loves us.” While we are not able to enrich God’s character, His love transforms, enriches, and sanctifies our characters as we live out the faith that He graciously gifted us with (Eph 2:8-9).
May we never think selfishly about God’s love, but always respond to His love in humble worship as we proclaim that “his steadfast love endures forever.”