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Summary: ULTIMATE DEFEAT IS RESERVED FOR OUR PERSECUTORS

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BIG IDEA: ULTIMATE DEFEAT IS RESERVED FOR OUR PERSECUTORS

I. (:1-4) THEY CAN BEAT ME BUT THEY CAN NEVER DEFEAT ME

(THEY CAN WHIP ME BUT THEY CAN NEVER TOTALLY WHIP ME)

A. Numerous Persecutions But Divine Perseverance

1. Numerous Persecutions

“Many times they have persecuted me from my youth up”

2. Divine Perseverance

“Yet they have not prevailed against me”

B. Painful Persecutions But Divine Deliverance

1. Painful Persecutions

“The plowers plowed upon my back; They lengthened their furrows”

Image of Israel lying down like a field and being scourged

2. Divine Deliverance

“The Lord is righteous; He has cut in two the cords of the wicked”

II. (:5-8) THEY WILL ULTIMATELY SUFFER THE SHAME OF

FRUITLESSNESS AND DEFEAT

A. Defining Characteristic of the Persecutors:

They hate God / They hate God’s Program / They hate God’s People

“all who hate Zion”

B. Final Destiny of the Persecutors

1. Shame: “Be put to shame”

2. Frustration and Defeat: “turned backward”

C. Images of Fruitlessness

1. Withering Grass

“Let them be like grass upon the housetops, Which withers before it grows up”

2. Barren Harvest

“With which the reaper does not fill his hand”

“or the binder of sheaves his bosom”

D. Denial of Any Blessing

“Nor do those who pass by say,

‘The blessing of the Lord be upon you;

We bless you in the name of the Lord’”

* * * * * * * * * *

DEVOTIONAL QUESTIONS:

1) The nation of Israel by any account has had a rough time of it. Think through how God used various heathen nations to discipline and persecute His people; but then remember how God judged those heathen nations as well. Who ended up better in the end?

2) When we are experiencing tough times and even persecution, is our testimony still that “The Lord is righteous?” Let us resolve to never find fault with the ways of the Lord – even when we don’t understand where He is taking us.

3) Our lives are intended to be fruitful. Will the reaper and the binder of sheaves at the end of our days find much to gather in at the harvest?

4) From verse 8, consider what a powerful thing the blessing of the Lord is. Let us never use the Lord’s name lightly nor in vain. But let us always seek the blessing of the Lord for our household and the household of God.

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