By Jamie Tisler
Red Hearts, chocolate, roses, and mushy cards are all symbolic of Valentine’s Day. A day set aside to express love, especially between those who have a romantic relationship. This holiday can be miserable for those who have never had such a relationship, or they had one, but it ended because of a breakup, a divorce, a death.
Romantic love is often conditional, somewhat uncertain, and even in the best of relationships is not without its challenges. There is a love that is not romantic yet does not cease. It is described as “steadfast and endures forever.” Words such as unwavering, persistent, dependable, steady, true, trustworthy and devotion are closely associated with the word “steadfast.” The psalmist identified God as having this type of love in Psalm 136 for His people. In fact, the psalmist uses this description as a refrain in all 26 verses of the psalm.
The psalmist reminds God’s people of how He expressed such unwavering love. He orchestrates wonders, created the world, delivered them from the bonds of slavery in Egypt, defeated kings of nations whose lands were given to Israel, and His ongoing care of His people through the generations, including present day and going forward throughout eternity.
God’s greatest demonstration of His love is showcased in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” 1 John 4:8 states that God’s very nature is love. Everything that God does has love as its core. His love is not conditional like romantic love is; rather, His love is a deliberate act of His will, and a resolve to put the welfare of His people above everything else. Jesus’ death on the cross certainly illuminates God’s love.
What a blessing it is to know and experience God’s love. The people of God should respond as the psalmist instructed in the first three verses and the last verse of Psalm 136, “Give thanks to God.” Indeed, His well of unwavering love does not run dry.