“Many times they have afflicted me from my youth,”
Let Israel now say;
“Many times have they afflicted me since my youth,
yet they did not prevail against me.”
— Psalm 129:1-2
The writer of this psalm has had many years of experiencing suffering and affliction. However, he realizes that it was all for “Israel,” the Lord’s testimony. This verse indicates that the psalmist is no longer afraid of hard times, nor is he trying to escape difficult situations. He realizes that trials and afflictions have been with him since his youth, yet they were not for himself but for the sake of the Lord’s testimony. That is why he says, “Oh, let Israel say.” Then he repeats, “many times have they afflicted me since my youth,” but adds, “yet they did not prevail against me” (v. 2).
In other words the psalmist is saying, “After experiencing so many years of hardship and trials, I can testify that the Lord has always had His way. Outwardly it seemed that I failed and was beaten; but in reality I gained the victory. Outwardly I had no way to overcome all the afflictions. I was often oppressed, defeated, and even tempted to run away. However, after many years of being in all these kinds of situations, now I can testify, they did not prevail against me! I am still here! I am still fighting for the Lord’s testimony!” These two verses are very sweet. The writer has been dealt with his entire life since his youth, yet he realizes that the dealings and afflictions always came to him from the Lord with His testimony in view.
Adapted from The Journey of Life, pages 78-79.
Tomorrow: “With the Testimony in View”