There is nothing my family enjoys more than reading. From a young age, my children have been drawn to books like moths to a flame. This pursuit is something I work hard to encourage and is evident in the sheer number of books, bookshelves, and even book boxes throughout our home. Books of a wide variety can be found in just about every room, always kept at accessible levels.
Yet, there is one book I prefer over others. One book that contains stories and lessons that can be read over and over, taking on new meaning with each and every turn of the page. A book that is filled with both good and evil, happy and sad, love and hate.
If you guessed the Bible, you’d be right. As a parent, if there were one book I’d pick above all the rest it would be that one. But the reality is that my younger kids probably wouldn’t enjoy my KJV copy. They may get bored with the pages of black words on white paper. And they certainly would not see the significance of the red words… some of them are just too young.
Which is why books like His Mercy Endureth Forever from Reformed Free Publishing Association are so vital to our home library. When RFPA reached out to me to see if I would like to review this title, I was more than happy to take a look. I had previously reviewed a title they offer and it was one we enjoyed.
Well That Sounds Familiar
If you are thinking that the title of this book sounds familiar, you’d be correct. His Mercy Endureth Forever is a delightful children’s adaptation of Psalm 136 that reads exactly like my own KJV Bible. Yet unlike my Bible, this books breaks the psalm down over 36 large pages. It also includes a myriad of wonderful images and illustrations by Kathleen DeJong that helps bring to life the mercy and love of God for your children.
Starting with the first verse, His Mercy Endureth Forever takes young readers through the wonders that God brought His people through and celebrates His mercy in a way that the littlest listeners can appreciate.
More importantly, by using the King James version, this book reiterates the emphasis of this passage. Rather than simply summarizing the words of the psalmist, it uses them exactly and emphasizes the words with vivid pictures. “To Him who alone doeth great wonders,” is matched with a beautiful tree and picture of a forest. “To Him that made great lights,” is illustrated with the wonders of the Aurora Borealis. The retelling of the Exodus story is pictured both with a lamb and an Israelite protecting his home by applying the blood to the doorposts. “To Him which led His people through the wilderness,” is breathtakingly portrayed with a camp and a pillar of fire.
No really, when my five-year-old saw this page she gasped while pointing out the large column of fire.
The Importance of Teaching Them
As Christian parents we all understand the importance of teaching our children, of raising them up in the way they should go (Prov 22:6). We know full well that we are to pass along the love of God, the shortcomings of mankind, and the truth of salvation.
Yet, it’s not always easy to do. There’s so much to teach and it feels like so little time. Often it’s hard to explain the wonders of God in a way little minds can fully comprehend – yet, books like His Mercy Endureth Forever reminds parents that we don’t always need to summarize the Bible. We don’t always need a kid’s version or diluted stories. We can fully engage them in the wonder and mercy of God by simply enjoy His word with them and adding the imagery that adds to the words, rather than trying to take away.
My daughter was in awe over the pillar of fire. Curious as to the crops in the field. And concerned over the people and chariots in the water.
My eight-year-old was mesmerized by the constellations, and my daughter in disbelief that they even exist. And he thoroughly enjoyed the weaponry as we read about the kings God protected His people from.
The last page had my daughter running for our own piano as she recognized the printed sheet music, even if she cannot read it yet herself.
And because this book contains words such as endureth, mercy, and smote, there is even a glossary at the end to help parents explain these big terms to little listeners.
His Mercy Endureth Forever
Psalm 136 serves as a reminder to us all of the many ways God provides for His people. It’s a reminder that God’s mercy, His love