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Summary: When the going gets tough will we be tough enough to keep going? The psalmist sets a great example of a "never say die" spirit in the face of tremendous affliction.

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Victory Over Troubles

Psalm 129:1-8

This song is the tenth in the series of “Songs of Ascent”. It seems written for antiphonal singing; to be sung by two groups or by a leader and choir. The theme is that we can trust the Lord to bring us through persecution. The quality called for is perseverance in the face of affliction. Some things we just have to endure knowing that in the end God will prevail. There is also an imprecatory section calling down a curse upon Israel’s enemies.

I. Lamenting a lifetime of affliction 1-2a

A. The psalmist describes his oppression 1

1. His oppression occurred often: “Many a time”

2. His oppressors were numerous: “they”

3. His oppression was severe: “afflicted”

4. His oppression lasted a long time: “from my youth”

B. The psalmist invites all Israel to rehearse their afflictions 2a

1. The oppressions were national as well as individual

II. Persevering in the face of adversity 2b-4

A. The psalmist determines not to be discouraged 2b

B. The psalmist describes the injuries inflicted by his enemies 3

1. The image: a plow making furrows in flesh

2. The implication: marks of being beaten by a whip

C. The psalmist acknowledges the source of his strength 4

1. The image: the reins directing the plow are cut

2. The implication: the whip is cut in two

(Note: The psalmist is not claiming to have overcome through strength of will or self effort. He carefully acknowledges that God alone can be credited with his ability to persevere.)

III. Praying in the heat of battle 5-8

A. A passionate prayer for victory 5

B. A specific prayer against God’s enemies 6-8

1. That their efforts would not prosper 6-7

2. That God would not bless them 8

Do I possess a faith that will endure troubled times? Can I face adversity with the feisty kind of “never say die” spirit of the psalmist? When the going gets tough will I be tough enough to keep going? God strengthen me for life’s battles.


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