A song of degrees
One who reverences the Lord
1: Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. 2: For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. 3: Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. 4: Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. 5: The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. 6: Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.
A song of degrees
A Prayer against the enemies of the Lord
1: Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say: 2: Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me. 3: The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows. 4: The LORD is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked. 5: Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion. 6: Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up: 7: Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom. 8: Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the LORD be upon you: we bless you in the name of the LORD.
Today we are reading Psalm 128 & 129. Psalm 128 describes the sign that the Lord gave to Hezekiah. We read in 2 Kings 19
29: And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such things as grow of themselves, and in the second year that which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruits thereof.
And in Isaiah 37
30: And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such as groweth of itself; and the second year that which springeth of the same: and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof.
So Hezekiah says that the blessing of God rests on the one who fears the Lord and live righteously according to law. And the blessing of God is the bringing in of a harvest that a man has sown. In other words there is national economic peace and security for Israel. The righteous man will be well and his wife will have children. The Lord will bless his people from out of the city of Zion and the blessed man will see the good of Jerusalem all of the days of his life. He will see his grandchildren and there will be peace in Israel. This describes Gods blessing on Israel under law. Gods blessing is the continuation of human life, the bearing of children and grandchildren. Peace in the land and fruitfulness in the field. How very different is the blessings of God for the christian. His blessing comes by faith and has no relation to law keeping. And all of Gods provision in peace and fruitfulness and in family are on the basis of Gods unmerited kindness. Psalm 129 is a Psalm declaring Hezekiah’s trust in the Lord. In 2 Kings 18…
5: He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. 6: For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses. 7: And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.
Hezekiah says that many times since he was young has Israel been afflicted, yet the enemy have not triumphed over Israel. It seems that Hezekiah equates his personal experience with the troubles of Israel. He says they beat me on my back but the Lord is a righteous judge and he destroyed these wicked people. May they all be completely overcome that hate Zion. Like grass on the roofs which dies before it has fully grown. They will never hear anyone blessing them in the name of the LORD.
- How does the Psalmist sum up Judaism under the old Covenant?
- What is the Messianic hope of Israel?
- In the second Psalm what does the Psalmist pray regarding his enemies?