On my journey of life no person shall get me under - 17 September 2018

Ewald Schmidt

A song of ascents. “They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,” let Israel say; “they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me. Ploughmen have ploughed my back and made their furrows long. But the Lord is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.”  Psalm 129:1-4 (NIV)

When we read the songs of ascent, we may mistakenly be thinking that the journey of life with God will always be easy and comfortable. Previous songs have sung about how the Lord blesses us, that there will be peace and prosperity. But many believers look back upon their lives so far, and they ask why their journey has been so difficult. Israel looks back upon a history of pain and suffering. The times of slavery in Egypt, and exile in Babylon come to mind first. Verse 3 tells the tale of slaves being beaten, with their backs looking as if it was ploughed with long furrows.  This song represents so many believers’ experience of their past. Some have come through times of oppression, some were victims of abuse. So many people have great difficulty in the handling of their past. With this pilgrim’s song, the hurt of our past is brought to the Lord.

The worst hurt we can experience in life is usually at the hands of our fellow man. Incidents of hurt in our past have the ability to capture us, as if bounding us in the chains of slaves. Being bound by the cords of the wicked robs us of all the joy and peace we could have experienced in life, if it is not dealt with. So many believers still carry a heavy burden of pain through life.

Verse 4 tells us of the place of healing in our journey of life. It happens where we meet the Lord. This song of ascents tells the history of God, setting the captives free. He has freed Israel from oppression so many times. It is he who takes broken people into his arms, and heals their hurt. It is only God who can break the cords of misery that the wicked have spun in our lives. He can take our pain away, and transform our lives into hope and joy when we go forward on the path of the future. God is our healer, he sets us free.

The pilgrim in this song learns to leave the revenge in the hands of God. The wicked will be like grass cut down and placed on a roof to dry. Before it sprouts it will wither away in the sun. The deeds of the wicked will be without fruit. But God’s children will be free.

Prayer:  Father, so many believers are still struggling with the hurt from their past. You see our pain, and you want to heal us, and set us free. Please come and heal our emotional wounds, break the chains that pain has spun around us. Set us free, so we can live our lives fully dedicated to your glory. Amen

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