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A Devo From Scot - Psalm 136

Dear Church,

Repeated repetition is frequently frustrating. For some, to say the same thing over and over is either a sign of madness or feebleness. Or are there other options? Consider the phrase “I love you.” If a hypothetical husband only said this phrase to his girlfriend once - the very first time - and then considered it a stated fact, recorded in the annuls of their relational history, to be remembered but needlessly restated…I’m not convinced his wife or any family members would consider that a reasonable conclusion.

Actually, in our Re|engage marriage ministry, one of the often quoted principles is “presumption over a long period of time feels an awful lot like neglect.” Think about that for a minute. This means that sometimes things need to be repeated, reinforced, reiterated. They are that important, even if they are simple. Often times simple and important go together, like in “I love you.”

Today I invite you to read Psalm 136. And before you turn to it, let me warn you that within a few verses you will be tempted to skip ahead and read only half of it. You’ll see why. There’s a lot of repetition.

You see, dear friend, some things are too important not to repeat. But there’s more. Some truths are so profound - even the simple ones, because simple and profound often go together - that they require multiple applications to penetrate your heart and mind. The truths of your identity in Christ are a great example. You will need to repeat and reapply these truths regularly for the rest of your life. They are that profound. Your heart is sometimes that impermeable. Repetition can be your best training exercise. It is for the greatest of athletes.

Consider Psalm 136 again. “For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” The word lovingkindness is the Hebrew word “hesed” which is loyal love and commitment. It is very similar to the New Testament concept of grace. Do you think it overstated to repeat a truth about the unfailing nature of God’s grace? What about other truths? What about other songs of worship? What about the songs we sing in church today?

Repetition is not always madness or feebleness of thought. Think about the angels continually singing “Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory” in Isaiah 6. These angels are still singing in Revelation 4. They surely aren’t mad or feebleminded. Sometimes repetition is the only right response to God - things God reveals - truths of God’s character - magnificent statements of worship to God. His grace is constantly active in your life. Let me repeat, God’s grace is constantly active in your life. Believe it. Say that to yourself over and over. Look for His hand. Trust His heart.

I love you church.

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