How long is forever?


I don’t think anyone on earth really understands the concept of forever. I think we try, but I don’t think any of us is capable of it. Forever can blow our puny little insignificant minds.

But the Bible really talks about forever a lot. So if it’s something that we can’t comprehend, why is it all over Scripture? Well, if we could understand everything about the Bible, we wouldn’t need it, would we? If we could understand everything about God, He wouldn’t be God, would He?

I learned a long time ago that whenever someone in authority over me repeated something, it usually meant what they were saying was important. So whenever my parents or my boss would say something at least twice, I knew to pay attention. Because there had to be a reason they wanted me to know whatever it was they were telling me.

And if that is true between us crazy human types, it’s doubly true of God. There aren’t many instances in Scripture where God repeats Himself, though, so when it happens, it’s super important.

So when I read today’s verse, I figured that what He was saying was important. But of all the things to repeat, I find this interesting:

Psalm 136:1, 26

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
         His faithful love endures forever.
26
Give thanks to the God of heaven.
         His faithful love endures forever.

What is God saying in this verse? Why did He choose to have David write, “His faithful love endures forever” over and over again? Well, obviously, God wanted to catch our attention. Remember, He only repeats Himself when He wants us to make sure we understand what He’s saying.

So how do we understand that His faithful love endures forever?

Well, what that tells me is that no matter what I do or where I go or how far I get or how badly I think I’ve screwed up, there’s nothing that will make God love me less. Because His faithful love endures forever.

Isn’t that what you would think if you saw “His faithful love endures forever” repeated twice in the same Psalm?

Want a real shocker? Read the whole Psalm 136. In fact, I’m going to post it. Because I think God is trying to tell us all something.

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
         His faithful love endures forever.
 2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
         His faithful love endures forever.
 3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
         His faithful love endures forever.

 4 Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles.
         His faithful love endures forever.
 5 Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully.
         His faithful love endures forever.
 6 Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters.
         His faithful love endures forever.
 7 Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights—
         His faithful love endures forever.
 8 the sun to rule the day,
         His faithful love endures forever.
 9 and the moon and stars to rule the night.
         His faithful love endures forever.

 10 Give thanks to him who killed the firstborn of Egypt.
         His faithful love endures forever.
 11 He brought Israel out of Egypt.
         His faithful love endures forever.
 12 He acted with a strong hand and powerful arm.
         His faithful love endures forever.
 13 Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea.[a]
         His faithful love endures forever.
 14 He led Israel safely through,
         His faithful love endures forever.
 15 but he hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea.
         His faithful love endures forever.
 16 Give thanks to him who led his people through the wilderness.
         His faithful love endures forever.

 17 Give thanks to him who struck down mighty kings.
         His faithful love endures forever.
 18 He killed powerful kings—
         His faithful love endures forever.
 19 Sihon king of the Amorites,
         His faithful love endures forever.
 20 and Og king of Bashan.
         His faithful love endures forever.
 21 God gave the land of these kings as an inheritance—
         His faithful love endures forever.
 22 a special possession to his servant Israel.
         His faithful love endures forever.

 23 He remembered us in our weakness.
         His faithful love endures forever.
 24 He saved us from our enemies.
         His faithful love endures forever.
 25 He gives food to every living thing.
         His faithful love endures forever.
 26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
         His faithful love endures forever.

That’s 26 times. God repeats this 26 times in 26 verses. So if we’re supposed to sit up and pay attention when God says something twice, what do we do when he says it 26 times?

Me? I believe it. God isn’t going to waste our time just saying the same thing over and over and over again. If He allowed David to write this Psalm this way, He did it for a reason.

God’s faithful love endures forever. So when your day sucks and everything goes wrong and nothing goes the way you planned it and when you feel like God has turned His back on you, remember that His faithful love endures forever. And even though we can’t understand what forever means or how long forever is, God does.

And when God says He’ll love us forever, He knows what He’s promising. He’s seen forever. Shoot, He is forever. He made forever.

It’s not about us understanding forever. It’s about us believing that God’s got it all taken care of and that there’s nothing that can separate us from His love. Not even ourselves.


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  • Helen

    Thanks, Amy — I had a really rough day yesterday with bad news upon bad news, but I read last night that His faithfuless is new every morning, and your post kind of expands on that for me today….so looking forward to a better day today because his faithful love endures forever!! I appreciate you!!