Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Psalm 129 - We belong to the Lord
Psalm 129:1-2 "'Many a time they have afflicted 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.'" NKJV
We're singing, we're singing ... Rabat means "abundantly" (translated "often"). What is happening often? The Hebrew Litzror means "to mistreat" and this comes from a root meaning to bind up, to hem in, or to restrict movement. This abundant mistreatment is happening from my youth in both verses 1 and 2.
Verse 1 ends with an invitation to "Now say it again". Verse 2 ends with some Hebrew words that only make sense in English when we use the idioms. Literally, also (or still) not prevailed to me. Adversaries are inferred from earlier in the verse. This will set up the rest of the Psalm.
Verse one is the chorus to the Psalm (which is repeated in verse 2 by all the people listening). "Often (with abundance - same root as the title rabbi which means the abundant one) I have been afflicted (from the same root as 'adversary') since I was young." Then in verse 2, we have the 1st verse, "They have not yet (also) been able to me." This is a fairly literal interpretation, but a more figurative one is needed for full understanding.
My adversaries have not been able to do adversarial things to me. We won't get to verses 4 and 5 for a few days, but this is where the blessing is revealed. God is protecting you and me.
This is essential. We openly and often refer to God as our King. He is the King of Israel. Zephania 3:15 declares this. It was quoted by the multitudes as Yeshua entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. While it is essential, we tend to miss the full significance.
Every King (or ruler) must do 2 things to remain in authority (consider Matthew 28:18). A ruler must be able to defend his kingdom, and he must give his subjects opportunity to thrive. These 2 are related to each other.
We submit to (place ourselves under) God's authority. He, then, is obligated to defend us and give us opportunity to thrive. None will prevail against us. (Matthew 16:18)
Rabbi Michael Weiner,