PRAISE THE SUSTAINER
Psalm 136:23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
Susan: The lowliest estate possible is being a slave being forced to make bricks without straw.
Exodus 5:11 Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished.
Susie: The ancestor of the Israelites, Joseph, had been made a ruler of Egypt and had saved Egypt and his family from famine because the Lord gave him wisdom to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and skill to act upon what it foretold. During that Pharaoh’s reign, the children of Israel were a small number and were esteemed. However, there came a time when the new Pharaoh failed to know that history and feared the Israelites because God had caused them to multiply prolifically. Therefore, they had been made into slaves, a people Pharaoh feared so much that He ordered all their male babies murdered.
Psalm 136:24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Susan: God rescued Israel out of slavery into freedom, defeating their enemies all along the way, beginning with Pharaoh and ending with the kings of the Canaanites.
Susie: In like manner, Jesus has redeemed us from the penalty of our sin and crushed the ruler of this world system, Satan. We still experience battles, but we know that God has won the war.
Psalm 136:25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Susan: People will ask, “What about the people who go hungry?”
Susie: A better question might be, “Are we who have plenty sharing with those who have little?” Enough food is thrown away in America each day to feed multitudes of hungry people. But the meaning of this verse is that God provides the sunshine, the water, the nutrients to grow crops. However, we have the responsibility to be good stewards of all these blessings.
Psalm 136:26 O give thanks unto the God410 of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Susan: We are to give thanks to the Almighty, the all-powerful, totally strong God.
The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
410 – ’êl: strength; as adj. mighty, espec. the Almighty (but used also of any deity):—God . . . mighty one, power, strong.
Susie: To whom are we giving thanks? Who is it that we praise? Our pre-existent, self-existent Creator who is our supreme, sovereign Deliverer and our all-powerful, Almighty Sustainer. We give thanks to the One whose mercy, lovingkindness, and grace goes on forever and ever.
1. Have you ever felt “low?” One friend described how she felt when her husband left as “so low I could play handball against the curb,” and another said she “felt like someone’s garbage on the curb out by the street.” The Israelites were low, but God lifted them up. Describe a time God lifted you up and what or who He used to do it.
2. Have you been redeemed by Jesus? If so, write a brief testimony here to share with others. If not, ask the leader of the study group, a pastor, or a Christian friend to share how you can experience freedom in Jesus.
3. Do you believe God provides for our needs? Does He sometimes use His people to help others? How have you allowed God to use you or how has He used others to meet your needs?
4. Write a brief prayer of thanksgiving for specific things God has done in your own life.