Persecution and mistreatment are facts of life for God’s people (2 Timothy 3:12; Matthew 5:10-11). Much of Israel’s history was written by its enemies in blood-red ink. Psalm 129 affirms this fact: “Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth, let Israel now say—’Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth…The plowers plowed on my back; they made their furrows long.’” (vv. 1-3). It also affirms that this is not the final chapter. What a thrilling declaration is “Yet they have not prevailed against me” (v. 2)!
Though the affliction inflicted has been often and brutal, it has not been fatal because “The Lord is righteous; He has cut in pieces the cords of the wicked” (v. 4). Human tribunals do not give the final verdict about a person’s life and character. God does.
Therefore, “Let all those who hate Zion be put to shame and turned back. Let them be as the grass on the housetops which withers before it grows up, with which the reaper does not fill his hand, nor he who binds sheaves, his arms. 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!’” (vv.5-8).
The righteousness of God is not a fanciful, Bible theory. Instead, it is the lifeline of comfort that anchors the afflicted during the perilous tsunamis of persecution and affliction. Its powerful cables sustained Christ when He suffered for us, “who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed (literally—“kept committing”) Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23).
The righteousness of God.
What an anchor and lifeline of the soul!