“True Love”

PSALM 136

New American Standard Version

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
To Him who made the heavens with skill,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
To Him who spread out the earth above the waters,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
To Him who made the great lights,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
The sun to rule by day,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
The moon and stars to rule by night,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

To Him who smote the Egyptians in their firstborn,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
And brought Israel out from their midst,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
With a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
To Him who divided the Red Sea asunder,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
And made Israel pass through the midst of it,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
But He overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
To Him who smote great kings,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
And slew mighty kings,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
And Og, king of Bashan,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
And gave their land as a heritage,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Even a heritage to Israel His servant,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Who remembered us in our low estate,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
And has rescued us from our adversaries,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Who gives food to all flesh,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the God of heaven,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TRUE LOVE

Psalm 136
From Gunner to Cindi on Valentine's Day 2003

My Precious Wife and Faithful Friend:
This day is meant for me to spend
My breath and ink and words on how
And why I love you and to vow
Upon the covenant I made
That love avowed will never fade.

This day is meant for valentines
And good traditions.  So, these lines
Do serve to praise a precious wife
And faithful friend through all of life.
Yet while I do not balk at days
Like this, or hesitate to praise
Your labor, love, and life, and heart,
It would not be the purest art
To write your praise and rhyme my love
And not remember God above.

This day is meant, like every day
To wonder at and write and weigh
Our Father’s love through Christ His Son.
‘Twill be my joy to be outdone
By such a faithful love as this,
To spend this day in holy bliss,
To write His praise and rhyme His love
And so remember God above.

The theme this year that we will tell:
God’s faithful love to Israel.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Give thanks to Yahweh God who keeps
His covenant, who never sleeps,
Whose goodness overflows our rim
And does not flow from wish or whim
But rather springs from sovereign grace
And chose a people in disgrace.
The God of gods – of lords, the Lord –
With shepherd’s staff and soldier’s sword,
With nothing but His mighty word
Does wonders.  Have you ever heard
Of any like Him?  It is He
Who made the heavens skillfully,
Who spread the earth above the seas
And holds it up with sovereign ease,
Who fashioned all of heaven’s light:
The moon to oversee the night,
The blazing sun to rule the day,
And ruling, joyfully obey.
He set the stars so high to show
That stars so high are small and low
When measured by His love and grace
On those who humbly seek His face.

He loved us both as foes and friends;
His lovingkindness never ends.
He loved us through the Son He cursed.
We love because He loved us first.

His love smote Egypt’s firstborn dead
And rescued Israel and led
Them out from slavery and harm
With mighty hand and outstretched arm
And showed by spotless, crimson flood:
Deliverance is bought by blood,
And liberation is not known
‘Til purity and death atone,
And mercy is not earned by deeds
But only when the blameless bleeds.
His justice called for doorposts red;
His power made the Red Sea spread;
His grace called Israel through its midst;
His wrath brought down the water’s fist.

He loved us both as foes and friends;
His lovingkindness never ends.
He loved us through the Son He cursed.
We love because He loved us first.

He led them through the wilderness
And never ceased to give and bless.
He sent His manna from above
And water came from patient love.
Provision was from sky and stone
To prove it was from God alone,
So God would have the glory when
He carried Israel ‘til the end.

The LORD, the Warrior strong and brave
Did never let His people save
Themselves.  He struck their enemies
And slaughtered mighty kings with ease.
Then armies multiplied in might
Were overwhelmed and fought in fright
When all His fierce war-glory shown
And proved that He is on the throne.
He took from Og and Sihon land
And gave it to His servant and
His son.  It was not wage or pay
But everlasting love’s display.
He left no Israelite in debt
But only said, “Do not forget
My overflowing fountain of
Sustaining grace and truest love.
Now magnify your LORD and King
By drinking from this gracious spring.”

He loved us both as foes and friends;
His lovingkindness never ends.
He loved us through the Son He cursed.
We love because He loved us first.

He rescued us from low estate;
His love makes ours to look like hate.
He crushed our every enemy
And made them all to bow the knee.
He gives to all the joys of life
And gives to man the gifts of wife
And friends.  So let us give Him thanks,
Who overruns our river’s banks
With grace, compassion, care, and love
And let us drink from God above.

He loved us both as foes and friends;
His lovingkindness never ends.
He loved us through the Son He cursed.
We love because He loved us first.

My Precious Wife and Faithful Friend:
This day is meant for us to spend
Our breath and ink and words on how
Our Father loves us and to now,
Upon the covenant He made,
Say “Love avowed will never fade.”

This day is meant, like every day
To wonder at and write and weigh
Our Father’s love through Christ His Son.
‘Twill be our joy when life is done
To know such faithful love as this,
To spend eternity in bliss,
To sing His praise and rhyme His love
And take our pleasures from above.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
And every eye is filled with tears
Of joy, we will not cease to sing
Of God’s true love through Christ the King,
To magnify His worth and fame
And glorify His matchless Name.

He loved us both as foes and friends;
His lovingkindness never ends.
He loved us through the Son He cursed.
We love because He loved us first.

 

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