Psalm 129 – Victory to God’s People

Psalm 129 – Victory to God’s People:

A Song of Ascents.

“Many a time they have afflicted (persecuted) me from my youth,” Let Israel now say—“Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth; yet they have not prevailed against me. The plowers plowed on my back; they made their furrows long.” The Lord is righteous; He has cut in pieces the cords of the wicked. Let all those who hate Zion be put to shame and turned back. Let them be as the grass on the housetops, which withers before it grows up, With which the reaper does not fill his hand, nor he who binds sheaves, his arms (arms full, bosom). Neither let those who pass by them say, “The blessing of the Lord be upon you; we bless you in the name of the Lord!”

This psalm is one of lamentation and reflection on the past (and quite possibly present and future) persecution of a particular people, in this case it’s the Jews.  This becomes more clear as the identifier is Israel with the phrase, ‘Let Israel now say.’  These are the Hebrew people remembering the affliction of their past, even from their youth.  During the holocaust, I wonder how many young Jewish boys who were under heavy duress said, ‘I want to live, I want to be strong, I want to eat, I want to be a German soldier!’  We all have seen documentaries of this horrific time in history, and yet, no film was available for the many other times God’s chosen people were persecuted, but they were, and this psalm depicts it.  The phase, ‘plowers plowing my back and making their furrows long’ is a graphic picture of the flogging post of the Romans or the whipping lines of the Egyptians.  The scars on the flesh of the backs of those unfortunate Jews must have very reveling of the pain they endured during their seasons of suffering and oppression. 

In all of this the psalmist reminds his readers that ‘they have not prevailed against me’ and how the Lord is righteous and has cut in pieces the cords of the wicked.’  This world is sin-laden, death and suffering are part of the ride if we are card-carrying members of the human race.  For the Jews, much suffering and persecution has been apportioned for them because the enemy of their soul, the devil, hates them.  God chose the Jews to bring to the world the Messiah, Jesus.  This is why antisemitism is so rampant in the world today, and the world of yesteryear, the world that is being remembered in this psalm.  In spite of the enemy’s tactics, God is faithful and He has been faithful to the Jews, and to their offspring, the NT Church.

Anyone who hates Zion, that is, those who are anti-Semitic, will be put to shame in the end.  We can’t identify as a Christian, read our Bibles, which by the way, was written by Jewish people, love the Jews of the OT, and then hate the Jews of the NT; it makes no sense.  The phrase, ‘will be put to shame and be turned back’ infers a heart change toward their view of the Jews, as a nation (Israel) and a people (Hebrews).  For a short season wicked people may seem to prosper in their way, but in the end, their prosperity never lasts. The psalmist likens them to ‘grass that grows on the housetops and then withers before it can mature (grow up).’  This grass can be likened to crops or other forms of sustenance that begins well, but can’t provide in the end.  This is further confirmed with the phrase, ‘the reaper does not fill his hand, nor he who binds sheaves, his arms (arms full, bosom).’  Right now, most of the world is eating the produce from last year’s harvest; farmers and other agencies are telling us that in the coming year there is going to be a crop shortage due to climate change and geopolitical conflicts that have hampered affected nations in their crop development.  The signs that the ‘bridge is out ahead’ are more than clear to those who are watching; this world is moving into a crisis like non-other.  While this psalm may document past persecution and judgments on those who have hurt the Jews, what’s coming to this world in the coming weeks and months is like nothing we have seen in human history; I am referring to the coming seven-year tribulation.  I believe that this psalm is also referencing a soon to be future time when the world will be experiencing Daniel’s 70th week.

The psalmist concludes in verse 8, ‘Neither let those who pass by them say, “The blessing of the Lord be upon you; we bless you in the name of the Lord!’”   In the midst of Israel building her third temple under the leadership of the future antichrist, they will also be experiencing severe tribulation, infiltration, and supposed peace, but it will be a false peace.  Half way through the time of Jacob’s trouble, the antichrist will enter into the temple and proclaim himself to be god and demand worship. The Jews will realize that he is a fake and flee Jerusalem and the region.  Many Bible scholar’s believe that a remnant of Jews will flee to Petra in the Jordanian wilderness to take shelter in a place prepared for them by the Lord. 

Things will be bad for Israel and the world during this time and nobody will be saying (like they used to), ‘God’s blessing is upon you or we bless you in the name of the Lord.’  This will be a time of God’s judgement upon the world and the fulfillment of Daniel’s 70-weeks prophecy from Daniel 9.     While the focus of God’s wrath will be upon Israel and the world, it will not be upon the trib-saints or converted (Messianic) Jews.  They may feel the affects of the judgments because they are on the earth during this time, but these same precious people, if they die, will be ushered under the altar of the Lord in God’s throne room in heaven.  The Church will not be on the earth when all of this is occurring as we are not appointed to wrath, but to obtain salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

As you read this, if you are not saved, you must believe upon the Christ by faith and repent and confess your sin to Him. The Lord will forgive you, cleanse you, and welcome you into His kingdom when He returns or if you pass before then.  On this side of the Rapture, these psalms of ascent are an encouragement to those who read and meditate on them.  On the other side, they will be a guide to get you to understand that Jesus really is Lord, the only One who can same a person from hell, forgive their sin, and welcome them into heaven.  As I am writing this blog, I sense that we are very close to the Rapture. I feel God preparing His Church for His soon return.  We all need to be ready, but more than that, we need to stay ready and help others to know the Lord like we do.  We must continue serving the Lord in whatever capacity He has called us to.  Hang in there man (and lady) of God, we’re almost home.


Encouragemen is a blog written by Pastor Rob Lee, recently relocated to Northern Missouri.  He lives with his wife of 33-years, near their three adult children, their spouses, and children (their grandchildren).  Pastor Rob is an Ordained Assemblies of God minister, a former Lead Pastor (25 years), police chaplain, and community advocate.  He continues to serve, consult, and disciple men of God, including those who are in the ministry. 

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