Ascending to the House of God
As we saw in Psalm 120, our foes are many and relentless. The slanderer’s tongue is a sharp arrow that will never cease to pierce and hurt. But in Psalm 129, as he moves up to the house of God, the pilgrim bids his foes farewell and commits them to his God. That is exactly what we must do. That is exactly what we soon shall do!
“Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say: Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me. The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows. The Lord is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked. Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion. Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up: Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom. Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the Lord be upon you: we bless you in the name of the Lord.”
The Scriptures often speak of Christ and his church by the same name (Jer. 23:6; 33:16), because we are truly one with him and he is truly one with us. Without question, the psalmist here refers to both our Savior and to us. Our afflictions are his and his are ours. In all our afflictions, he is afflicted (Isa. 63:9). That which touches us touches the apple of his eye (Zech. 2:8). This has always been the case. The Scriptures plainly speak of our afflictions as our Savior’s afflictions (Gal. 4:29; Hosea 11:1; Matt. 2:14-15).
The words of verse 3, “The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows,” obviously describe that which our blessed Savior endured for us when he gave his back to the smiters (Isa. 50:6), and was scourged in Pilate’s judgment hall (John 19:1). All that he suffered at the hands of men and at the hands of divine justice we suffered in him.
But the Lord God has cut asunder the cords of the wicked. He has made them withered grass to be cast into the furnace. Just as surely as Christ was made triumphant over all his foes and ours as our Substitute, we shall be made triumphant over them in everlasting glory. “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Rom. 16:20).
Hallelujah! I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine! All that concerns me concerns him; and all that concerns him concerns me. His sorrows and sufferings he has made mine; and my sorrows and sufferings he makes his. And, soon, the blessedness and triumph that he enjoys as the exalted God-man, he will cause me to enjoy. The glory he possesses as my Surety he has given to me, and shall soon cause me to enjoy forever!
Though, for now, for a season, we must sow in tears, we shall finally reap in joy! So let us sing, in the expectation of the glory awaiting us, as we ascend to the house of our God to worship him.