Chapter 136

The scope of this psalm is the same with that of the Ps. 135:1-21, but there is something very singular in the composition of it; for the latter half of each verse is the same, repeated throughout the psalm, “for his mercy endureth for ever,” and yet no vain repetition. It is allowed that such burdens, or “keepings,” as we call them, add very much to the beauty of a song, and help to make it moving and affecting; nor can any verse contain more weighty matter, or more worthy to be thus repeated, than this, that God’s mercy endureth for ever; and the repetition of it here twenty-six times intimates, 1. That God’s mercies to his people are thus repeated and drawn, as it were, with a continuando from the beginning to the end, with a progress and advance in infinitum. 2. That in every particular favour we ought to take notice of the mercy of God, and to take favour we ought to take notice of the mercy of God, and to take notice of it as enduring still, the same now that it has been, and enduring for ever, the same always that it is. 3. That the everlasting continuance of the mercy of God is very much his honour and that which he glories in, and very much the saints’ comfort and that which they glory in. It is that which therefore our hearts should be full of and greatly affected with, so that the most frequent mention of it, instead of cloying us, should raise us the more, because it will be the subject of our praise to all eternity. This most excellent sentence, that God’s mercy endureth for ever, is magnified above all the truths concerning God, not only by the repetition of it here, but by the signal tokens of divine acceptance with which God owned the singing of it, both in Solomon’s time (2 Chron. 5:13; when they sang these words, “for his mercy endureth for ever,” the house was filled with a cloud) and in Jehoshaphat’s time (when they sang these words, God gave them victory, 2 Chron. 20:21, 22), which should make us love to sing, “His mercies sure do still endure, eternally.” We must praise God, I. As great and good in himself, Ps. 136:1-3. II. As the Creator of the world, Ps. 136:5-9. III. As Israel’s God and Saviour, Ps. 136:10-22. IV. As our Redeemer, Ps. 136:23, 24. V. As the great benefactor of the whole creation, and God over all, blessed for evermore, Ps. 136:25, 26.