May all who hate Jerusalem be turned back in shameful defeat. May they be as useless as grass on a rooftop, turning yellow when only half grown, ignored by the harvester, despised by the binder. And may those who pass by refuse to give them this blessing: “The Lord bless you; we bless you in the Lord’s name.” Psalm 129: 5-8 NLT
I am struggling to understand this psalm. It feels like there has been some challenge from folks -- whether God’s people or not -- to Jerusalem’s honor and respect. Are these Samaritans who lived here during the exile or enemies of all God’s people who want to destroy the holy and political city?
No matter who is the enemy, the psalmist uses agricultural imagery (as we have seen in several psalms lately) to describe the wish of the psalmist. The psalmist wants to see these Jerusalem haters to be useless, dying, ignored and despised by God. The imagery of grass that is on a rooftop (totally unwanted and unnecessary) or the harvest that didn’t mature and turned yellow while halfway grown would both be ignored when it came time to harvest. And while the binders are gathering the produce, they would despise the time and energy spent sowing those half grown and dying plants.
What areas in your life seem to be hated by others? Do you want them to be useless, dying, ignored or despised? How can you be full of life in God’s eyes?
God, we love you and ask for your help in being full of life. May we not be despised, ignored or forgotten by you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright Amelia G. Sims 2012