This psalm may be very fittingly read at this time, for it celebrates the Lord’s dealings with Israel until he had settled them in the land which he had promised to them as a heritage.
Praise the Lord for what he is by nature, for his own personal goodness deserves our adoration.
His sovereignty over all, and his transcendant superiority above all other existences should command our reverent praise at all times. All his power and majesty are sweetened with mercy.
How sweet is the chorus. It comes over and over again, but it never degenerates into a vain repetition. God is to be praised not only for his nature and dignity, but also for his works.
Psalm 136:5, 6
O thou Creator of all things, we magnify the mercy which shines in all thy handiworks.
What should we do without the sun? Could life itself hold out? And how cheerless would night be if the moon were quenched! Herein is mercy.
Each distinct blessing deserves a verse of praise to itself.
From nature, the psalmist turns to providence and sees mercy all around. Mercy is everywhere around us, like the air we breathe. Judgment to Egypt was mercy to Israel.
Destruction it was to Pharaoh, but that destruction was needful for the escape of the Israelites, and for their safety while in the wilderness, and therefore mercy was in it all.
Notwithstanding all their provocations, the Lord continued to lead them on; and in their case, as in ours, proved the eternity of his mercy. Time cannot rust it, sin cannot conquer it; throughout eternity it must and shall endure.
He makes the just punishment of some to redound to the gain of others, and thus in his judgments magnifies his grace.
Our personal experience is one of the sweetest notes of the song which celebrates infinite mercy. Our redemption is the joy of all our joy.
Daily providence which feeds the countless fish of the sea, and birds of the air, and beasts of the field, deserves our reverent gratitude.
The Lord reigneth in the highest above all, making heaven the throne of his glory. Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.