Psalms

  • Psalms Facts

    150 chapters
    2,461 verses
    41,277 words
    Wisdom Genre

  • Psalms Word Cloud

    This word cloud picture shows the most repeated words in Psalms

  • Writings about Psalms

    Christian education materials about Psalms, including book overviews, reading guides for the Wisdom genre, discussion questions, discipleship lessons, and throught-provoking essay.

  • Psalms Daily Readings

    Start reading or listening to Psalms and its associated daily readers on Day 276 when Psalms begins

Daily Reader for Day 297: Psalms 136 - 140


by Dave Moore

Your name, O LORD, endures forever, Your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages.  For the LORD will vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants.  – Psalm 135:13-14

Psalm 135 opened the subject of the LORD’s steadfastness, especially toward the children of Israel.  This will be explored more thoroughly in our first three Psalms today. 

You will notice that Psalm 136 has a unique structure, as the steadfast love of the LORD is drilled home in a call and response pattern.  This faith will be critical to the audience of Psalm 137, a lament from the exiles in Babylon who ask, “How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land?”  They pray to the LORD, hoping that His love is indeed steadfast, as they long for justice toward Edom and Babylon.    

This is followed by a Psalm “Of David” that rejoices that All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD, for they have heard the words of Your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD.  For though the LORD is high, He regards the lowly, but the haughty He knows from afar. 

Did you notice what happened there?  Three Psalms, which could have been written hundreds of years apart, have been compiled in such a way that they form a complete message.  In the universe and in Israel’s experience, the LORD has shown His steadfast love.  In the particular, personal life of King David, the LORD has shown His steadfast love.  To the exile then, and to all who would cry out, “How shall we sing the LORD’s song?...” there is a hope-filled answer. 

The final two Psalms are again of David.  Psalm 139 is notable as a contemplation on the all-present God from Whom there is no escape.  Rather than despair on anger, the writer settles on grateful yielding: “Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way of life everlasting!”  Its successor, Psalm 140,

Our verse for this week is James 5:16: Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Psalms 136 through 140.  Now let’s read it!

Psalms 136 - 140

136:1   Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
  Give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
  Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  the sun to rule over the day,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  the moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  and brought Israel out from among them,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who divided the Red Sea in two,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who led his people through the wilderness,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who struck down great kings,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  and killed mighty kings,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  Sihon, king of the Amorites,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  and Og, king of Bashan,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  and gave their land as a heritage,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  a heritage to Israel his servant,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
  It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  and rescued us from our foes,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  he who gives food to all flesh,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
  Give thanks to the God of heaven,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.

137:1   By the waters of Babylon,
    there we sat down and wept,
    when we remembered Zion.
  On the willows there
    we hung up our lyres.
  For there our captors
    required of us songs,
  and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
    “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
  How shall we sing the LORD's song
    in a foreign land?
  If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
    let my right hand forget its skill!
  Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,
    if I do not remember you,
  if I do not set Jerusalem
    above my highest joy!
  Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites
    the day of Jerusalem,
  how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare,
    down to its foundations!”
  O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed,
    blessed shall he be who repays you
    with what you have done to us!
  Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones
    and dashes them against the rock!

138:1   I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing your praise;
  I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
    for you have exalted above all things
    your name and your word.
  On the day I called, you answered me;
    my strength of soul you increased.
  All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD,
    for they have heard the words of your mouth,
  and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
    for great is the glory of the LORD.
  For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly,
    but the haughty he knows from afar.
  Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve my life;
  you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
    and your right hand delivers me.
  The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands.

139:1   O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
  You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
  You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
  Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
  You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.
  Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
  If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
  If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
  even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
  even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.
  For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
  Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
  My frame was not hidden from you,
  when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
  Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
  in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.
  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
  If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you.
  Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
    O men of blood, depart from me!
  They speak against you with malicious intent;
    your enemies take your name in vain.
  Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD?
    And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
  I hate them with complete hatred;
    I count them my enemies.
  Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!
  And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting!

140:1   Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men;
    preserve me from violent men,
  who plan evil things in their heart
    and stir up wars continually.
  They make their tongue sharp as a serpent's,
    and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah
  Guard me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked;
    preserve me from violent men,
    who have planned to trip up my feet.
  The arrogant have hidden a trap for me,
    and with cords they have spread a net;
    beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah
  I say to the LORD, You are my God;
    give ear to the voice of my pleas for mercy, O LORD!
  O LORD, my Lord, the strength of my salvation,
    you have covered my head in the day of battle.
  Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked;
    do not further their evil plot, or they will be exalted! Selah
  As for the head of those who surround me,
    let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them!
  Let burning coals fall upon them!
    Let them be cast into fire,
    into miry pits, no more to rise!
  Let not the slanderer be established in the land;
    let evil hunt down the violent man speedily!
  I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted,
    and will execute justice for the needy.
  Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name;
    the upright shall dwell in your presence.

(ESV)

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