Psalm 106:1

Psalm 106


Psalm 106:1 (New International Version)

Praise the Lord.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures for ever.


Today’s headline: Praise the Lord!

The lead paragraph fills out this imperative with the words: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures for ever. Through balanced, poetic phrases, this theme is systematically developed. Finally, the bottom line echoes the head line: Praise the Lord!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures for ever. At the outset, two fundamental characteristics of God are set out: God is good and God is love. No words can adequately describe God, but if we were to try to sum up his profound character in a couple of words, these might be those.

The body of the text unfolds further the themes of the goodness and love of God by piling example on example in a survey of the history of his people. Time after time they got into trouble; time after time he pulled them out.

So we can read the text in several ways. As literature, a fine poem. As theology, illuminating the character of God. As history, unpacking the past of Israel. Yet when we encounter God’s word we are not simply to read it but to respond to it. Sometimes it is not clear how we should respond to a given scripture, but here the response required is obvious: Praise the Lord!

 

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