Psalm 136: Royalty vs. Royalty

Royal babies get a lot of attention. For that matter, anything royal or movie star related is inevitably promoted in top news stories. Maybe it’s because most of our imaginations evolve inside a comparatively lower economic reality, and on our own, we can’t conjure up an adequate image of the extravagance that envelops “royal” people. Our obsessive curiosity is both similar but different from what King Arthur contemplated. The question, “What do the simple folk do?” is replaced by, “What do the royals do?”

The media takes our “royalty” curiosity, (grand scale or not), and runs with it. In addition, (perhaps in an effort to legitimatize “royal” lifestyle), the media rolls out the “do good” credits, (if there are any) and gives us a vision of all that the “royal” has accomplished, or hopes to accomplish. This ongoing “royalty” media focus may be sincerely good, but compared to the tribute I read about in Psalm 136, the attention seems trite. However, there is one “royalty” focus that is anything but commonplace. In a “royalty” versus “royalty” dual, one King will always come out far ahead of any other.

A clue about this far grander “royal” is found in a repeated phrase in each of the twenty-six verses of Psalm 136. In my abbreviated version, the phrase is “HMALEF,” which stands for “His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.”

The rest of the passage describes the outcome for God’s people when the ultimate King, God himself, “royally” acts on their behalf.


Can your “royalty” do the things listed in Psalm 136?

If so, are these “royal” actions taken with the sole purpose of exhibiting mercy and loving-kindness toward YOU? (“You,” if you are His person.)

Probably not.

Can you see where worldly “royalty” digresses from God’s royal actions?

Check out the “royal” credits list below, the “Psalm 136 inventory,” of what God did/does for His people.

Then, as the psalm writer encourages, we can also praise Him for all He has done for us!

God is perfectly good.

God has as ALL authority.

He is a God above all other “gods”

He is Lord above all other “lords” (people who might rule you)

God has supreme power, wisdom, understanding, and creative force.

He made the heavens, earth, waters, great lights –sun, moon, and stars and put them into patterns that rule day and night.

Though the bad guy seems to hold us captive a while, ultimately God subdues our captor. (In those days, it was Egypt)

Though all we may know is “captivity,” God brings us out from that place.

God is openly strong and reaching for our benefit.

God divides the insurmountable (red seas.)

God helps us pass though that which is fearsome.

God, in His, time shakes off and overthrows (into red seas) oppression.

God leads His people through wilderness– places where no one is expected to survive.

God takes and gives life.

God takes life from those who seem immortal, and unconquerable.

God gives us our heritage.

God remembers and imprints His people. He knows our name.

God rescues us from our enemies.

God feeds and provides feed for us and all flesh.

“Oh give thanks to the God of heaven (THE SUPREME “ROYAL”), for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.” Psalm 136:26

It’s really no contest to pit world “royalty” with God “royalty.”

Even a baby can see that!


My Prayer

Dearest God of the Heavens, Thank you for all the “royal” actions You perform all around me every day in spite of my lack of focus. Tune my vision to see You and Your strategies and not get stalled in a worldly view. My days will soon end. Keep me from wasting too many precious  minutes of my life. Point me to the place You want me to walk and lead me through. I praise You for all that You are. Help me to see. Amen.


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