Psalm 136:1-3 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
This psalm contains 26 verses. There are only 353 words in this song. The words “for his mercy endureth for ever” are repeated 26 times making them 156 of the 353 words or 44% of the song.
Why is that so important? I think that when the early church that sang psalms for their song service or the Jews when they finished singing this in one of their worship services would have thought “His mercy endureth for ever!” I think that must have been the key thought that they should have taken home from this song.
Then each of the 26 verses tells how we know that His mercy endures for ever!
The term “oh give thanks unto the Lord” is used 4 times in this song meaning that fully half of this psalm is a repetition of 12 words.
The Biblical teaching is that we learn “line upon line” and “precept upon precept!” Isaiah 28:10
Repetition is the key to learning. However repetition has to be done in such a way that it is not boring and gets to the heart.
Obviously this psalm does that because it is divinely written and inspired!
I do think that this negates some of the criticism of much music that is used to worship God that is often called a 7/11 song. Meaning the same 7 words repeated 11 times.
I would never believe that we should literally have the same 7 words repeated 11 times and nothing else but I can in no way say that we can’t have the same 6 words repeated 26 times as long as there is strong Biblical content.
Nearly half of this song is a repetition of the same short chorus but isn’t that the way all of our hymns are written.
Now I can hear some criticizing me and others getting excited that I am defending their position. I am doing neither. It is just what I found in the psalm. Can I say to you that lead music and write songs; it should be full of good strong Bible doctrine and content. It should lift up the name and person of God. Don’t cheapen His music by saying nothing just like preachers should not cheapen His word preaching boring, say nothing messages.
This is definitely Biblical praise and worship music found in this song. I want to praise Him and worship Him at all times.