A Bible Study in EasyEnglish (2800 word vocabulary) on Psalms 120 to 134
EasyEnglish is a system of simple English designed by Wycliffe Associates (UK). This commentary has not yet received Advanced Theological Checking.
A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.
Last part: The reasons why Godís people suffer
It is interesting to compare Psalm 129:5-8 with Psalm 128:5-6. Both passages could be prayers. Or they could express the desire that certain things will happen. But the meaning of the two passages is opposite to each other. Psalm 128 expressed the desire that good things will happen to the people in Israel. But Psalm 129 expresses the desire that bad things will happen to Israelís wicked enemies.
There are several passages like this in the Psalms. And sometimes Christians consider them difficult. They do not have a problem with the passages that promise good things to Godís people. But Christians should forgive even the people who are cruel to them (Luke 6:27-30). Christians do not want bad things to happen even to bad people. They would prefer if those bad people confess their evil deeds to God. And if they sincerely turn to God, then God will forgive. He does this because of Jesusí death.
So, Christians would not usually want to say the things that the poet says in Psalm 129:5-8. To understand this passage, we must remember certain facts:
(1) The people in Israel were Godís people. The enemies who attacked them so cruelly were fighting against God. And often they were doing this on purpose. They were fighting for the honour of their own false gods.
(2) A judge cannot be a fair and good judge unless he punishes guilty people. This may not be a pleasant thing to do, but it is certainly the right thing to do. God is the judge of everyone. And God is always good and fair. Everything that he does is right. So clearly, he will punish wicked people.
It is not wrong for a Christian to approve of this. If people do not turn from their evil deeds, God cannot forgive them. They must confess their evil deeds to God, and they must invite Christ into their lives. Otherwise, God is against them.
(3) The poetís prayer is that God will defeat the evil schemes of wicked men. Even for a Christian today, it is not wrong to pray such a prayer. We should pray first that God will save our enemies. But we also pray that God will save us from their evil schemes.
In Psalm 129:5, the poet prays about people who hate ĎZioní. He could have said that they hated ĎJerusalemí or ĎIsraelí. But Godís house was on the hill called Zion. So, when the enemies fought against Godís people, they were opposing God. And Godís people did not have to worry about how they would defend themselves. God would defend them. So they must pray to God, and they must trust him. God would show them what they should do.
The poet prays that those enemies will have to return home. They wanted to attack Zion, but God defends his holy hill and his holy people. So the enemies have to return home. They are ashamed because their evil schemes and their proud words have failed to bring them success.
Next part: The lives of wicked people
© 2010, Keith Simons.