Book #5: 107-150, cont’d.
Psalm 124:1-8-David says that the LORD is the one who is on their side and has saved them from their enemies. If it wasn’t for him they would have been overwhelmed.
Psalm 125:1-5-The Psalmist says that those who trust in the LORD are as unmovable as mount Zion, on which Jerusalem is built (:1) and that even as mountains surround Jerusalem, so God surrounds His people. Providing a barrier of protection (:2-3). He prays for the goodness of God to be upon those who are good and upright. The word “upright” means straight, level…suggesting that it is the correct way (:4-5).
Psalm 126:1-6-The Psalmist tells how those who had returned from captivity (in Babylon) gave praise to God. It seemed like it was all too good to be true, like a dream (:1). As they celebrated, the nations around them recognized that this was God’s work (:2-3). He then prays for more captives to return home. He says that while there may be suffering for a while…eventually, for those who love God, things will change (:4-6).
The Babylonian captivity or exile refers to the time period in Israel’s history when Jews were taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon. It is an important period of biblical history because both the captivity/exile and the return and restoration of the Jewish nation were fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies.
God used Babylon as His agent of judgment against Israel for their sins of idolatry and rebellion against Him. There were actually several different times during this period (607-586 B.C.) when the Jews were taken captive by Babylon. With each successive rebellion against Babylonian rule, Nebuchadnezzar would lead his armies against Judah until they laid siege to Jerusalem for over a year, killing many people and destroying the Jewish temple, taking captive many thousands of Jews, and leaving Jerusalem in ruins.
As prophesied in Scripture, the Jewish people would be allowed to return to Jerusalem after 70 years of exile. That prophecy was fulfilled in 537 B.C., and the Jews were allowed by King Cyrus of Persia to return to Israel and begin rebuilding the city and temple. The return under the direction of Ezra led to a revival among the Jewish people and the rebuilding of the temple.
Psalm 127:1-2-Nothing we do matters, no matter how hard we work at it, if it is not of God. Our labor is in vain. If God so desires, He can bless us while we sleep (:1-2).
Psalm 127:3-5-It is a great blessing to have children.
Prayer: Lord, I pray for those who are experiencing suffering, right now. Brothers and sisters in Christ, around the world, who are undergoing persecution. I am so blessed here…that I can hardly imagine what it must be like. But I pray for their freedom, I pray for their health, I pray for their safety, I pray for their faith, I pray for their joy to return. Help them to read Psalm 126 and to be encouraged. Help them to believe in their hearts that their joy is just a morning away.