Friday, May 9, 2014

Psalm 129

Psalm 129:

Psalm 129 raises all kinds of questions that we rarely explore. First, realize the writer is talking about a literal event, but the Psalm also has a spiritual side. For example, the Psalmist wrote, about being “oppressed from my youth.” We know David did endure oppression from others—primarily his brother. However, we all endure a spiritual oppression because from the moment we are born the devil desires to harm and destroy. Besides the devil we might as well be honest and say all of us have to deal with some people who are just jerks and seek to harm us, our name, etc. We all encounter oppression in life!

The Psalmist makes two key points in his response to evil.

1.  Victory has not been gained over him—God has delivered! 
2. The Psalmist begins to pronounce judgment on those who performed evil. Maybe instead of the word judgement we should just say the Psalmist is stating God’s will for those who attempt to harm those serving God. On a side note, consider the word “Zion” in this Psalm to not only represent the country of Israel, but those who are in God’s kingdom. The Psalmist also asks God to harm those who attempt to oppress "Zion" or God's kingdom.

Read Psalm 129 below and consider verse 4 and 5. Ask how we can use this prayer in our modern world.
Psalm 129
A song of ascents.
“They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,”
let Israel say;
“they have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
but they have not gained the victory over me.
Plowmen have plowed my back
and made their furrows long.
But the Lord is righteous;
he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.”
May all who hate Zion
be turned back in shame.
May they be like grass on the roof,
which withers before it can grow;
a reaper cannot fill his hands with it,
nor one who gathers fill his arms.
May those who pass by not say to them,
“The blessing of the Lord be on you;
we bless you in the name of the Lord.” [1] 

The Psalmist began to pray two key prayers---deliverance and punishment. The Psalmist prayed he would be delivered from evil. We need to pray the same. However, he took it further and actually asked that God deal severely with those who desire to harm him (the Psalmist), or God’s kingdom. Sometimes, we need to recognize God’s power to impose justice and trust it. Sometimes, we are too quick to try to solve issues and too slow to say God, “Please stop this evil.”

Do we have points in our life that we need to ask for God’s protection?

Do we know of points of evil that we need to place in God’s care and ask his help in dealing them?

[1] The New International Version. 2011 (Ps 129). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

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