A Prayer For Protection

In ancient Rome, crowds by the tens of thousands would gather in the Coliseum to watch as Christians were torn apart by wild animals. Paul Rader, commenting on his visit to this famous landmark, said, “I stood uncovered to the heavens above, where He sits for whom they gladl … More

Persecution

The church has been often greatly distressed by its enemies on earth: Israel may now say, “I am the people that has been oppressed more than any people, that has been as a speckled bird, pecked at by all the birds round about,’’ Jer. 12:9. It is true, they brought their troubles upon themselves by their sins; it was for them that God punished them; but it was for the peculiarity of their covenant, and the singularities of their religion, that their neighbors hated and persecuted them. The persecution of the psalmist  is graphically illustrated by a farm scene. Their backs were so sore (perhaps from beating) that they felt like plows digging into them (v. 3). He then says that he hopes his persecutors will not be around long. He hopes they will be like the grass that grows on the Middle-Eastern homes after a rain. It withers before it really grows and thus no farmer bothers to harvest it or bind it into sheaves (v. 7). It is of no value so no words of appreciation are expressed for it.  The point is that no one thanks God for a fistful of dried weeds and he hopes the wicked will wither and dry up.

In harvest time it was common for men to bless each other in the name of the Lord. As they would pass harvesters in the field they would say, “The blessing of the Lord be upon you” (Ruth 2:4) The psalmist warns against pronouncing the blessing of the Lord upon everyone. Those who are living ungodly lives should never be told “God bless you,” for to do so is to ask for God’s assistance on their ungodliness (v. 8).

Application

Have each family member share what was the most difficult time they have gone through. Did this get the best of them? God will never give me more than I can handle? (I Cor. 10:13)

Psalms 129:1-8 (English Standard Version)


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