1 “Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth,”
Let Israel now say—
2 “Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth;
Yet they have not prevailed against me.
3 The plowers plowed on my back;
They made their furrows long.”
4 The Lord is righteous;
He has cut in pieces the cords of the wicked.
5 Let all those who hate Zion
Be put to shame and turned back.
6 Let them be as the grass on the housetops,
Which withers before it grows up,
7 With which the reaper does not fill his hand,
Nor he who binds sheaves, his arms.
8 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!”
The psalmist here writes another song of Ascents, declaring God’s judgment on the enemies of His people. He bemoans his own affliction from his enemies, describing them as beating him with cords, and asking God to take away their scourge. He asks God to put them to shame, turn them back, let them wither in the sun and never reap a harvest. He even prays that no one ever bless his enemies at all. While this may sound vindictive and full of the language of revenge, it is proper in that the writer does not declare his own intention to exact revenge. Instead, he prays to God that He take vengeance on his enemies. The lesson for today’s reader is clear: don’t take it upon yourself to get even. Instead, pray and trust God to take care of your enemies. When you exact revenge, it is hollow and temporary. When God avenges you, it is an eternal statement of God’s intentions. Let Him handle it; He is better at it anyway!