Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This will be given on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023.
If Psalm 136 had a title, it might well be “His Mercy Endureth for Ever.” That phrase is repeated 26 times — in every verse of the psalm. The psalmist writes of various ways the Lord has expressed His mercy throughout the centuries. But this psalm is more than a history lesson; you get the sense that the psalmist didn’t just write about mercy but had also experienced it.
And so have all of us, even though we don’t always recognize the mercy God extends. Think of the little coincidences — some would call them the little miracles — in your life. Maybe it was the time someone said just the right thing to comfort or reassure you. Or the time a friend showed up just when you needed some help. Think of the times you experienced moments of peace and calm even in difficult circumstances. Those are the Lord’s tender mercies, and they endure forever.
What a comfort that promise is, because we all need mercy. We stumble, we suffer, we fall short. And the Lord is kind, compassionate, forgiving and patient forever.
In a sense, we help His mercy endure forever as we extend His mercy to others (see Matthew 5:7; Luke 6:36). And when we do, we might find that same mercy returned to us in the most unexpected ways. This happened to the young mother of a 2-year-old daughter. So many times, when the toddler woke during the night or cried for comfort, the mother would stroke her daughter’s forehead and sing her to sleep. Then one day, when the young mother was especially exhausted, she lay on the floor in their living room. Before long, her little daughter started stroking her mother’s forehead and softly singing to her. The little girl tried to give her mother a little of the mercy that she had so freely received.
When life is difficult, when mistakes are made, when we feel alone and forgotten, we can look for God’s mercy, and we will always find it. His love is unending. His blessings are available to all who trust in Him. “His mercy endureth for ever.”
Just as that phrase is a continuing, constant presence in the 136th Psalm, the Lord’s mercy can be a continuing, constant presence in our lives. Our struggles and suffering are temporary because “his mercy endureth for ever.”
Tuning in …
The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL News Radio 1160AM/102.7FM, KSL.com, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirecTV, SiriusXM (Ch. 143), tabernaclechoir.org, youtube.com/TheTabernacleChoir and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. Mountain Time on these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.com/viewers-listeners/airing-schedules.