Hope From History
Take time to recall God’s faithfulness in your life. Give thanks for God’s abiding presence and his unfailing love.
Read PSALM 129:1-8
A song of ascents. “They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,” let Israel say;  “they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me.  Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long.  But the LORD is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.”  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.  May those who pass by not say to them, “The blessing of the LORD be on you; we bless you in the name of the LORD.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat hope does the psalmist find in his trouble (4)?
The psalmist recalls Israel’s past, but not with nostalgia or sentimentality. The past is deliberately recalled as a means of offering help for the present and hope for the future.
The people of God have suffered (1), and suffered greatly (3) and probably continue to suffer, but (2) they are neither helpless nor hopeless. Their hope and their help is the Lord (4a); he has come to their rescue in the past, and they are confident that, ultimately, he will not allow them to be defeated (2b). Although the present reality might be grim, God’s faithfulness in the past encourages his people to turn to him in prayer, trusting that God’s enemies will be defeated (5), believing that the wicked are transient (6) and their success short-lived (7), and that they will not be part of the community of God’s people who enjoy his blessing (8).
The psalmist believes in the light at the end of every dark tunnel. He sings his song of hope and trust in the darkness of night; he sings by faith, and not by sight. So must we.
Pray: “O God, our help in ages past…Be Thou our guard while troubles last, / And our eternal home” (Isaac Watts).
Lord, I trust You for all my help. May I know the peace You give to all who trust You.
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