I recently volunteered to do a bible study on a Psalm.  Our Lifegroup (cell group) opted to go through the Psalms this term, giving everyone one an opportunity to present if they want to.  This motivated me as I as was working on it and would love to share it with you too.  I choose Ps 136, For his loving kindness endures forever.  I fell ill and could not go and present the study, so I typed it all up for my husband to present, therefore I can share it with you too.

 

We do not know by whom this Psalm was written, but we do know that it was sung during the opening of Solomon’s temple (2Ch 7:3,6), just after God filled the arc with His presence. It was also sung by the armies of Jehoshaphat when they sang themselves into victory in the wilderness of Tekoa. It was a popular hymn among the Lord’s ancient people

 

Ps 136 is referred as “”The Great Hallel” (great praise), Hallel is linked to Psalms 113-118, also called the Egyptian Hallel because it focusses on the great Exodus out of Egypt. Ps 136 takes praise to a new level, therefore it is named the Great Hallel

 

I chose this Psalm due to the many occurrences of the word ‘praise’, sometimes translated as ‘give thanks’.  See the first 3 verses and the last verse. We see the word praise in many English translations, but there are 7-9 different Hebrew words with different meanings, which are all translated to  ‘’praise’’ or ‘’give thanks’’.  Our English word ‘’praise’’ is loaded with meaning.

 

The Hebrew word ‘’Yadah’’ is used in this Psalm.  The same word that is used in the well known Ps139 I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Definition

  1. to throw, shoot, cast
    1. (Qal) to shoot (arrows)
    2. (Piel) to cast, cast down, throw down
    3. (Hiphil)
      1. to give thanks,, laud, praise
      2. to confess, confess (the name of God)
    4. (Hithpael)
      1. to confess (sin)
      2. to give thanks

The root of the word means to throw, shoot, cast.  It is used physically as if throwing an arrow, or it can be used metaphorically to give thanks and praise.

I wonder, giving praise in this way is spiritual warfare?  Think of the song ‘’raise a halleluja’’ – (based on ps 23-I look forward to what Jade has prepared for this Psalm.)

 

Praising the Lord and giving thanks to Him in a Yadah-way, means I cast my prayer/thanksgiving/singing/worship into the air like an arrow. I was always very uncomfortable when people around me lifted their arms up in praise, especially being raised in a more conservative church environment.  But learning what the word praise mean and the deeper meaning of it, I sometimes throw my arms up in the air as if shooting my ‘’arrows of praise’’ heavenly.  I also realized I would not hesitate throwing my hands up in the air at a rugby match, why would I feel inhibited doing it for God?

 


  1. Read the Psalm part by part as outlined below.

 

Give everyone a ‘blank’ template of Ps 136.  To be filled out/in as the verses are being discussed

 

Read verses 1-3.

Praise/Give thanks all are the word ‘’Yadah’’ and all 3 praises are towards the Lord.

 

He is Good             He is God of Gods                He is Lord of Lords.

 

What do you want to call God?   He is faithful, He is loving, He is King, He is majesty, He is forever?  Write your 3 sentences down for Ps 136.

Give everyone a time to do so.

 

Read verses 4-9.  These six verses praises the Creator.

4He alone does great wonders.

5By His insight He made the heavens.

6He spread out the earth upon the waters.

7He made the great lights—.

8the sun to rule the day,.

9the moon and stars to govern the night.

 

Think about what you love in nature.  Where do you see God in nature?  The birds, trees, mountains, flowers, ocean, insects, the sun, moon, stars, your children?

 

Write down a few things in Creation that makes you want to praise God

Give everyone a time to do so.

 

Read verses 10-15. These six verses talks about the deliverance from Egypt.

Read verses 16-22 These seven verses talks about the journey from Egypt to Canaan.

It was all tough times for the Israelite, but they wrote a Psalm to remember it and praise God for the outcome.  Your journey probably also had some ‘’wilderness’’ times.

The Bible is full of verses where God reminds His people of what He has done for them.  Last week I (Wilmien) was a bit down as everything that has happened to us in the year we are living here, got to me.  While listening to everyone, I realized God has been with us through all our trials and tribulations. I started to remember everything He has done for me in the past.  That gave me new hope, it helped me to praise God, even in a bad situation.  I have used this method so much.   Every time I feel down, I am only able turn my emotions around when I remember to praise Him.

What can you write down in your life?

Lord, I remember when Robin did not have a job, how you provided for us

I remember how you opened up my spiritual eyes when my physical eyes were blind.

I remember how you healed Leonardo during the snake bite.

I remember how you protected us during the rioting.

I remember how we were being kept safe during the flooding.

I remember every time you answered my prayers.

Make it personal and write down your best memories of where God came through for you.

 

Give everyone a time to do so.

 

Read verses 23-24.  These are two happy verses of personal gratitude for present mercy.  Which two (or more) things are you grateful for?

 

We are helping a couple through a difficult time in their marriage.

I am grateful for a healthy marriage

I am grateful for God’s provision

I am grateful for my children.

I am grateful for my health.

I am grateful for my family and friends.

 

Write down your grateful statements.

Give everyone a time to do so.

 

Read verses 25-26.  One verse to tell of Gods providence and a closing verse to remind us for ‘never ending praise’, again, a Yadah, an arrow of thanks into the air.

 

Copy these two verses or paraphrase them for you..

 

Give everyone a time to do so.

 

Now you have a spiritual warfare ‘’Yadah’’ Psalm you can use whenever you feel a bit down or whenever you want to praise him.

 


  1. Closing

 

The well known song by Chris Tomlinson: Forever, was inspired by Ps 136.  Listen to it if possible.

Pray

Bless everyone

 

 

You are welcome to download this document, giving the outlay of how you can adapt your own Psalm and use it during difficult times

Download the PDF

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