Study Guide – Psalm 129

1 “They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,”
    let Israel say;
2 “they have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
    but they have not gained the victory over me.
3 Plowmen have plowed my back
    and made their furrows long.
4 But the Lord is righteous;
    he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.”

5 May all who hate Zion
    be turned back in shame.
6 May they be like grass on the roof,
    which withers before it can grow;
7 a reaper cannot fill his hands with it,
    nor one who gathers fill his arms.
8 May those who pass by not say to them,
    “The blessing of the Lord be on you;
    we bless you in the name of the Lord.” NIV


Notice how this psalm is similar in structure to Psalm 124. What is it about their content that might explain why both of these psalms were written in this style?


Verses 1-4 are a personal testimony. Describe what the writer has experienced.


Verses 5-8 are a bold pronouncement, perhaps even a curse. Describe what the writer is proclaiming. 


This psalm is another "Song of Ascent" used to prepare God's people to worship together at the Temple. How would verses 5-8 prepare someone's heart for worship with others?


To follow after God a person must wrestle with some tensive decisions and emotions. How do you feel about verses 5-8 being in the Bible? How do these fit with "loving your enemy"? How do these fit with "casting off evil" and "clinging to what is good"?


—– Psalms Study Guide

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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