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Psalm 129

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Israel’s tumultuous history

Israel’s early history is filled with affliction
“Many a time they have afflicted me”: Numerous times Israel has experienced trouble
She (Israel) speaks of her assailants as "they", because it would be impossible to write or even to know all their names. They had straitened, harassed, and fought against her from the earliest days of her history -- from her youth; and they had continued their assaults right on without ceasing. —Charles Spurgeon
“from my youth”: From the early years
“Let Israel now say”: A call for a collective confirming of his statement
Israel prevailed through it all
“Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth:” The group affirms the truth of the statement
“Yet they have not prevailed against me.” They add how God protected them in each trouble
Israel’s period of suffering seemed to endure for a long period of time
A vivid imagery of Israel’ sufferings
“The plowers plowed on my back:”: Like a plow digging into their back
They made their furrows long.” Like long furrows or marks opening their flesh
Exodus 1:8–14 NKJV
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.” Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage—in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.
Exodus 1:8-14
Exodus 5:13 NKJV
And the taskmasters forced them to hurry, saying, “Fulfill your work, your daily quota, as when there was straw.”
Exodus 5:13
Exodus 5:13–14 NKJV
And the taskmasters forced them to hurry, saying, “Fulfill your work, your daily quota, as when there was straw.” Also the officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, “Why have you not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and today, as before?”
God remains the same
God remains the same
“The LORD is righteous”: God is righteous and will bring all to justice
He will keep His covenant and fulfill His promises
Suffering may be allowed by the LORD but soon the He will say enough and take vengeance on the enemy
“He has cut in pieces the cords of the wicked.” God will cut off Israel’s enemies
Zechariah 2:8 NKJV
For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.

Israel’s enemies doomed

A call to shame Israel’s enemies
“Let all those who hate Zion”: Why would we hate the people from whom came the word of God and the Redeemer of all mankind?
“Be put to shame and turned back.”: We are right in asking that those who despise Israel would fail in their attempt to destroy her
We desire their welfare as men, their downfall as traitors. Let their conspiracies be confounded, their policies be turned back. How can we wish prosperity to those who would destroy that which is dearest to our hearts? This present age is so flippant that if a man loves the Saviour he is styled a fanatic, and if he hates the powers of evil he is named a bigot. —Charles Spurgeon
A call to let Israel’s enemies comforts be destroyed
“Let them be as the grass on the housetops”: Grass that lasts for a short while
“Which withers before it grows up.”: Grass that doesn’t even begin to flourish
A call to let the Israel’s enemies crops fail
“With which the reaper does not fill his hand,”: May all their labor and effort and evil deeds reap an empty harvest
“Nor he who binds sheaves, his arms.”: arms = bosom
A call to let Israel’s enemies go unblessed
“Neither let those who pass by them say,”: Forbidden to approve of the the actions of Israel’s enemies
Did they view the atrocities?
Did they applaud and admire the actions of Israel’s enemies?
“The blessing of the LORD be upon you;”: A warning about blessing the enemies of Israel
“We bless you in the name of the LORD!”: Don’t take the name of the LORD in vain
Genesis 12:3 NKJV
I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Psalm 122:6 NKJV
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.
Psalm 87:2 NKJV
The Lord loves the gates of Zion More than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Numbers 22:38 NKJV
And Balaam said to Balak, “Look, I have come to you! Now, have I any power at all to say anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that I must speak.”
Numbers 23:11–12 NKJV
Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and look, you have blessed them bountifully!” So he answered and said, “Must I not take heed to speak what the Lord has put in my mouth?”
See how godly men are roughly ploughed by their adversaries, and yet a harvest comes of it which endures and produces blessing; while the ungodly, though they flourish for a while and enjoy a complete immunity, dwelling, as they think, quite above the reach of harm, are found in a short time to have gone their way and to have left no trace behind. Lord, number me with thy saints. Let me share their grief if I may also partake of their glory. Thus would I make this Psalm my own, and magnify thy name, because thine afflicted ones are not destroyed, and thy persecuted ones are not forsaken. —Charles Spurgeon
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