Ep.265: Psalm 129: The Anti-Harvest.

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.

Psalm 129 says:  

 They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
    but they have not gained the victory over me.
  Ploughmen have ploughed my back
      and made their furrows long.
  but the Lord is righteous;
      he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked (vv. 2-4). 

This psalm returns to a frequent theme: oppression and persecution. The poet uses a striking agricultural image: his enemies have ploughed a furrow in his back. Despite this cruel and inhuman treatment, God has seen and rescued him. 

The second part of the psalm invites God to punish the wicked ploughmen. It says:
  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 (vv. 5-7). 

Using grass to thatch a roof or sod to waterproof it doesn’t produce a harvest. The grass dries up and withers. The hopeful reaper finds the opposite of harvest–no grain to rub in his hands, no stalks to gather into sheaves.That’s how the poet wants God to deal with his enemies: uproot them from their native soil, place them where there is no opportunity for growth, no hope of harvest, no joy and blessing from arms full of produce. 

Let’s pray. 

Ou father, with the poet we pray:
  They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
      but they have not gained the victory over me (v. 2). 

We invite you to sustain us in our long battle against things that oppress us.
– When we sink into depression, draw us into joy
– When we react in anger, teach us peace
– When we isolate ourselves, restore us to community
– When we are lazy, help us to show initiative
– When we are critical, teach us to be helpful

May the grass of our old life dry up and wither, producing no harvest. May the new life you give us find rich soil and grow. We do not curse our enemies as the poet does, but we pray that you will prevent harvests of evil, and bless a harvest of good.

We ask you to break every curse against us. Where family or teachers or preachers have thought ill of us and highlighted our failures, grant us justice. Define our present and future by your promises, our growth by the good rain you send on us. May our lives yield a harvest of righteousness. 


I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”. 

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