Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #321 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Psalm 129 and 130 today and our focus is No Matter Who You Are, Know This: With the Lord There IS Abundant Mercy and Redemption! An Encouragement. We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Back to the Psalms today, and two more songs of ascent – worship songs that the people of Israel would sing when they were heading into Jerusalem to worship for a particular festival…somewhat reminiscent of Jesus-focused Christmas songs that we sing around the time of the year when we celebrate the nativity. We will mainly discuss Psalm 130, but Psalm 129 is at least worth a few brief words. It begins by discussing all of the trouble and persecution Israel has endured over the years — described very poetically by vs. 3:
Plowmen plowed over my back;
they made their furrows long.
Then it concludes with a series of curses for those who hate Israel/Zion/God’s People – let them be driven back – let them be like grass that withers quickly. Interestingly, the Psalm ends with a very unusual curse on those who hate Israel:
Then none who pass by will say,
“May the Lord’s blessing be on you.
We bless you in the name of the Lord.” Psalm 129:8
The curse in this instance boils down to: “May nobody bless you in the name of the Lord – may the Lord’s blessing NOT be on you.” We are used to more colorful and violent curses – may the mountains fall on you – may the earth swallow you up, etc. – but this particular curse really illustrates the power and significance of a blessing in the name of the Lord – so good is such a blessing, that withholding it, or withdrawing it itself becomes a curse. Let’s go ahead and read both of our Psalms, and then we will discuss Psalm 130.
In this Psalm/song we have a four part cry for help. In the first section, the Psalmist opens by begging God to hear his cry for help, “Lord, listen to my voice;
let your ears be attentive to my cry for help.” In section 2, the Psalmist comments on the great justice and perfect memory of God – noting that we would all be doomed if God recorded ALL of our sins and held them against us, but – praise God, “But with you there is forgiveness, so that you may be revered.” The next section of the song is one we are all too familiar with – waiting. The fact that the Psalmist is waiting earnestly for God’s deliverance and help demonstrates to us that we will often be in a similar place – waiting, waiting, waiting on God’s deliverance. Beloved, be not surprised at delayed answers to prayers. The Lord moves in mysterious ways, and the Lord moves with mysterious timing. Finally, a great note of hope is sounded in the fourth section: “Israel, put your hope in the Lord. For there is faithful love with the Lord,
and with him is redemption in abundance. 8 And he will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.” HOW did God ultimately redeem Israel? With His Son, the Lamb of God, who came hundreds of years after this Psalm was written. We learn from this that God is indeed faithful and sure, and we learn from this that His timing can be quite extended. Here is some great and encouraging commentary on this Psalm from our dear brother Charles Spurgeon:
You notice that this is one of the Songs of Degrees; that is, Psalms ascending by steps, and it begins at the very bottom: “Out of the depths.” But it gradually climbs up to the heights: “He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” May your experience and mine, beloved, be like a ladder,—upward, always upward, step by step, ever rising, and getting nearer to our God! The Psalm begins very low: “Out of the depths.” The psalmist is in the depths of sorrow and conscious sin, the depths of weakness, the depths of doubt and fear; yet, though he is in those depths, he does not leave off praying: “Out of the depths have I cried.” Some of the best prayers that were ever prayed have been offered in the depths. There are some men who never prayed at all until they came into the depths of sorrow, and those sorrows pressed their prayers out of them….“Let Israel hope in the Lord.” Until this verse, the psalmist has been talking about himself; now he speaks about all the people of God. True religion is expansive; as your own heart gets warmed, you begin to call others in to share your felicity. “Let Israel hope in the Lord.” Did not their father Jacob do so? When all night he wrestled at the brook Jabbok, he hoped in the Lord, and so he gained his name Israel, and went away triumphant because he hoped in Jehovah.
“For with Jehovah there is mercy.” Believe that, O seeking sinner! “With Jehovah there is mercy.” Believe this, O backslider! “With Jehovah there is mercy.” Believe this, downcast child of God; “and with him is plenteous redemption.” There is enough for you, and there is enough for all who come to him. There is not a slave of sin whom God cannot redeem, for “with him is plenteous redemption.”
“And he shall redeem.” There is the comfort of it; he not only has the redemption, but he will make use of it. “He shall redeem Israel”—the whole of his Israel, all his people—“He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” Oh, come to him, then, with all your iniquities, and pray to be redeemed from them; and as surely as Jehovah lives, he will fulfil this promise, and redeem you from all your iniquities.
C. H. Spurgeon, “Waiting, Hoping, Watching,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 44 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1898), 346–348.
Bible Memory passage for the month of November: John 14:6 “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
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