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Why Our Persecutors Shall Not Prevail 

Here is something to repeat to yourself

Psalm 129

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • October 15, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. Strengthen yourself by thinking back on history, including 
    1. our national history,
    2. Israelite history, and
    3. church history.
      1. What you will discover
      2. is what the poet of Psalm 129 showed.
  2. He showed that those who afflicted Israel 
    1. did not prevail against Israel.
    2. Remember what Dale Manor just showed us with Assyria against Judah.


  1. Psalm 129.0 | Celebrating the Ability to Ascend

    0 A Song of Ascents.

    1. How many wars have been fought in the land of Israel?
    2. How many times has Jerusalem come under attack?
      1. Yet, all her enemies have fallen by the way side.
      2. Therefore, Israelite pilgrims going to Jerusalem,
        1. could recount those afflictions and victories
        2. as they ascended the hills leading up to Jerusalem.
  2. Psalm 129.1–3 | They Knocked Us Down, We Got Back Up

    1 “Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth,”
    Let Israel now say—
    2 “Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth;
    Yet they have not prevailed against me.
    3 The plowers plowed on my back;
    They made their furrows long.”

    1. You know this is true,
      1. from what you know,
      2. even if you do not know much of biblical history.
    2. Where are all of Israel’s enemies of the past?
      1. Where are all of the church’s enemies of the past?
      2. God’s people always prevail,
        1. no matter what the enemies does to us.
        2. Do not become discouraged.
  3. Psalm 129.4a | Why We Shall Prevail

    4a The LORD is righteous;

    1. This is the turning point of the Psalm.
    2. Enemies have afflicted God’s people from the earliest days.
      1. Cain killed Abel in the beginning,
      2. so it happened with Israel.
        1. Israel became a nation in Egypt, but
        2. in Egypt they served as slaves.
    3. Enemies have knocked them down and
      1. plowed on the back of God’s people,
      2. making long furrows on them.
        1. The enemy pushed Israel face down into the dirt.
        2. Then took a plow and plowed over them!
    4. Suddenly the psalmist declares that the Lord is righteous.
      1. It was though he thought on Israel’s tormentors, but then
      2. remembered the Lord and His righteousness,
        1. which means that He would do something about the afflicting.
        2. The rest of the Psalm shows what He does.
  4. Psalm 129.4b–7 | What the Lord Does to Our Enemies

    4b He has cut in pieces the cords of the wicked.
    5 Let all those who hate Zion
    Be put to shame and turned back.
    6 Let them be as the grass on the housetops,
    Which withers before it grows up,
    7 With which the reaper does not fill his hand,
    Nor he who binds sheaves, his arms.

    1. The cords that the wicked used for persecuting the righteous,
      1. the Lord cuts in pieces.
      2. He disables them.
      3. He destroys their weapons.
    2. He puts them to shame.
    3. He turns them back.
    4. He lets them whither like grass,
      1. like grass on the housetops,
      2. like grass that dies the moment it sprouts up,
      3. like grass that never gets harvested.
    5. These things happen to those who hate Zion,
      1. Zion of old for ancient Israel or
      2. true Zion of the Spirit for the church.
  5. Psalm 129.8 | Our Enemies Shall Not Receive a Blessing

    8 Neither let those who pass by them say,
    “The blessing of the LORD be upon you;
    We bless you in the name of the LORD!”

    1. Therefore, no one shall pass them by and
    2. desire the blessing of the Lord upon them.
      1. Later, even the wicked speak against the wicked of the past!
      2. No one wants to be associated with the evil of past generations,
        1. although they might be doing the very things
        2. that the wicked of the past did!


  1. Even as we see in Psalm 129
    1. so we see in Second Thessalonians 1.3–8,
    2. that we suffer, but
      1. the Lord shall make our tormentors suffer and
      2. the Lord shall comfort us.
        1. The Lord comforts the afflicted and
        2. afflicts the comfortable.
          1. This is why the enemies of the Lord’s people
          2. do not prevail against them,
            1. as the psalmist said in verse 2.
  2. Daniel foretold 
    1. of the Lord’s reign and
    2. of the kingdom’s indestructibility,

      44 “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Dan 2.44).

      14 “Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
      That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
      His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
      Which shall not pass away,
      And His kingdom the one
      Which shall not be destroyed.”
      (Dan 7.14)

    3. The New Testament shows the fulfillment,

      28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear (Heb 12.28).

      1. From the beginning the wicked have persecuted the righteous, but
      2. in the end the righteous win.
        1. They have countless wins now and
        2. at the Judgment they will have the ultimate win.
  3. Somewhere along the way, 
    1. Christians got the idea that we are not supposed to suffer.
    2. Perhaps we had not been reading our Bibles,

      19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also” (John 15.19–20).
  4. However, you can see that the affliction of the enemy never prevails, because 
    1. Israel never would have made it to the first century to give us Christ.
    2. The church never would made it to the present hour,
      1. if the affliction of the enemy had prevailed.
      2. Therefore, take courage from the history of Israel and of the church
        1. that our haters will not prevail,
        2. we shall prevail.
          1. I wish that we knew church history
          2. like we do American history, for then
            1. we would see the many afflictions of the past, but
            2. how the church has always prevailed.
    3. Church history is like Israelite history, endless conflict.
      1. Think of the Books of Judges and the Books of the Kings and Chronicles.
      2. The writers paint many pictures of Israel’s afflictions, but
        1. somehow, someway, Israel always prevailed.
        2. I have told you that church history has constant problems, yet,
          1. here is the church today and
          2. the troublemakers have all vanished.
  5. Remember how Jacob got his name Israel? 
    1. What you see in Genesis 32
      1. is what you see in the life of the history of the nation, and
      2. it is what you see in the life of the history of the church,

        22 And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. 23 He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. 24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. 25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. 26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” 27 So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” 28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed” (Gen 32.22–28).
      3. So shall it be with us.