When you know what to look for, you see it everywhere.
An exaggeration to make a point?
Yes or no, the idea implies its opposite.
The author of the 136th Psalm seems captured by the thought.
26 times in 26 verses he says things like— To him who led his people through the wilderness; His love endures forever (Psa 26:16).
Some Bible translations read, “His mercy endures forever”.
As many of us have learned over the years, the Hebrew word expresses thoughts of a many-sidedness of layered mercy, goodness, kindness, and faithfulness.
As we think about this song, though, we might bump into a problem that shows up in the middle.
The lyrics of the first nine verses express thoughts that could be true for anyone. But at verse 10, the song evolves into a self-centered nationalistic celebration— seen through the eyes of Jewish history. Only at verse 25, does the author return to everyone and everywhere when he says, “He gives food to every creature. His love endures forever.”(Psa 26:25)
So what are we to make of such repetition? Does it really illustrate the idea that when you know what to look for— you see it everywhere? Is there something for everyone here—or not?
Seems to me that the love, kindness, mercy, goodness and faithfulness that is clear in the beginning of the song—and in the first few pages of Genesis— becomes inexpressibly hard to see… until we get to the part of the story where the God who loves the whole world so much that his Son dies on the Eve of a Jewish Passover…
One for all and everything.
When we know what to look for… we see it everywhere.