We are pushed into God’s protective shelter by the words of Psalm 129. No fear, yet full confidence in our Lord and Saviour. Although we will have trouble in this world, God has overcome this world and all trouble in it as we share his love and grace and hope…
1 “They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,”
let Israel say;
2 “they have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
but they have not gained the victory over me.
3 Plowmen have plowed my back
and made their furrows long.
4 But the Lord is righteous;
he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.”
5 May all who hate Zion
be turned back in shame.
6 May they be like grass on the roof,
which withers before it can grow;
7 a reaper cannot fill his hands with it,
nor one who gathers fill his arms.
8 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.”
Although many will oppress God’s people and hate his dwelling place, God is stalwart. He is a rock and is immovable for his people. For Israel, this is referring to their struggles with neighbours and the Mount Zion in Jerusalem. For us, we might consider this to be conflict between followers of Jesus and the world.
The psalmist encourages the follower of God in two ways. First, he proclaims that God rescues us by cutting the cords of the wicked from holding us down. God is our protector and saviour. We can find encouragement in knowing that the Lord will protect us…
The second encouragement is that God’s foes are like grass on the roof. It cannot grow because it dries and burns in the sun. Notice that these are haters of Zion. They are haters of God. The reason we are caught up in this is that we bear God’s name. God is the object of their fury.
Now we ought to be cautious that our attitudes and behaviours are not provoking of hatred and conflict in their own right – I reflect on this regularly. Our mission is bringing grace into the world – not judgment and conflict.
Many followers of Jesus have that wrong. We do not have to worry about rejection hatred toward God, yet we should not incite that hatred through our actions. Our identity as Jesus’ people is enough.
We are pushed into God’s protective shelter by the words of this psalm. No fear and full confidence in our Lord and Saviour. Although we will have trouble in this world, God has overcome this world and all trouble in it (John 16:33).