The Lord Is Righteous
Reflecting on the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost: One Day after Sunday (Year C)
Psalter: Psalm 129
Old Testament: Jeremiah 38:14-28
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 6:1-11
Psalter: Psalm 57
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 25:2-22
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 6:1-11
God of power and justice, like Jeremiah you weep over those who wander from you, turn aside to other gods, and enter into chaos and destruction. By your tears and through your mercy, teach us your ways and write them on our hearts so that we may follow faithfully the path you show us. Amen.
The Lord is righteous;
he has cut the cords of the wicked (Psalm 129:4).
by Linda Croft
Psalm 129 is the next step in the songs of ascent, though it doesn’t exactly seem to be a step up from the last Psalm. However, this is a reflection over a long period of time, from the Psalmist’s youth and throughout his life. As such, the blessing of the Lord in spite of a long history of affliction from the wicked is truly a great blessing.
The Psalms are filled with Psalms similar to this, and the theme is very similar to other Psalms like this. The picture the Psalmist gives us in verse 3 is really quite graphic. Remember, though we have an abundant life in Christ, it is very normal for the true Christian to go through many times of severe affliction. Verse 4, however, expresses the truth that takes us through the difficult times: The Lord is righteous; he has cut the cords of the wicked.
But what of the those who hate Zion (or hate God)? I love the picture given in verse 6: Let them be like the grass on the housetops, which withers before it grows up. I grew up in Door County, Wisconsin. One of the favorite tourist stops was Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant (which I assume is still there); the roof of the restaurant was covered with grass, and several mountain goats amused tourists by climbing up on the roof and eating grass. I’m sure this Bible verse has special meaning to Al Johnson, as I know the roof required a lot of watering to keep the grass green. The wicked are like that grass on the rooftop that withers before it even grows.
Continuing in Psalm 129 verses 7 and 8, the wicked have no harvest to reap, and no one will say to them, The blessing of the Lord be upon you! which was a common blessing spoken to those who have reaped an abundant harvest. This is an extremely important Psalm to consider. It may seem as though those who hate God live happy lives with great success, and great wealth, but in truth their happiness will end, as they will not be in that final Harvest when God brings His people home.
This is a fitting devotional for the Thanksgiving season when we thank God for the blessings and the abundant harvests He has given to us.
Pray that when all of the world will be judged you will be part of that Great Harvest of God that enters into eternal rest with Him forever.
PRAYER: Redeeming Sustainer, visit your people and pour out your strength and courage upon us, that we may hurry to make you welcome not only in our concern for others, but by serving them generously and faithfully in your name. Amen.
Check out “More Devotional Reflections” from the Bible, here.