August 9, 2017


Psalm 129

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They Have Afflicted Me from My Youth

A Song of Ascents.

  “Greatly1 have they afflicted me from my youth”—
    let Israel now say—
  “Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth,
    yet they have not prevailed against me.
  The plowers plowed upon my back;
    they made long their furrows.”
  The LORD is righteous;
    he has cut the cords of the wicked.
  May all who hate Zion
    be put to shame and turned backward!
  Let them be like the grass on the housetops,
    which withers before it grows up,
  with which the reaper does not fill his hand
    nor the binder of sheaves his arms,
  nor do those who pass by say,
    “The blessing of the LORD be upon you!
    We bless you in the name of the LORD!”


[1] 129:1 Or Often; also verse 2


Key Verse | Psalm 129:4

The LORD is righteous;
he has cut the cords of the wicked.
(Psalm 129:4)

Central Truth

SELF is the ugliest, most damaging four-letter word in any vocabulary. God will free one from SELF through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. What sin of SELF do you need to confront today?

Devotional | Psalm 129

For many, many years, my life and my marriage were a reflection of me. MY will. MY desire. MY wants. MYSELF. Like the Israelites who were attacked, besieged, and afflicted by their political and military enemies, I...

For many, many years, my life and my marriage were a reflection of me. MY will. MY desire. MY wants. MYSELF. Like the Israelites who were attacked, besieged, and afflicted by their political and military enemies, I was besieged and afflicted by my own sin. Manifested by anger, lust, financial irresponsibility, isolation, and immorality. In a word: SELF. About four years ago, my wife and a group of friends confronted me with my sin, especially my immorality that was destroying everything good in life. They had the courage to speak to me and reveal to me the very "deep furrows" that sin had made in my life and the damage that I was doing to myself, my family, and others. Proverbs 18:1 says, "Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment." That was me, living in isolation and living only for SELF. When confronted with my sin and gently, but firmly, loved by others, God was faithful to "cut the cords of the wicked (my sin)."

Through the disciplines of prayer, especially prayer with my wife, the study of God's Word, journaling, service to others, patience, and community, God continues to restore me and to restore my marriage. He continues to work miracles in my life daily. God was and is faithful to put to shame the sin that hates me (verse 5). God continues to wither the sin in my life before it grows up (verse 6). I must always remember, however, that sin, through Satan's attacks, is always after me. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 to "[b]e sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." But one of the many wonderful promises of God is found in James 4:7: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

There is relief from sin and relief from SELF. That relief is God. His Word. The blood of Jesus Christ. The redeeming work of the Holy Spirit. God will accept you today, just as you are, deep furrows and all.

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Bio | Will Reppeto

Greetings, Journeyers! I am Will, a redeemed Son of the King; husband to Deveri (25 years on August 22, 2017!); father to Emma (20), Gus (18), and Molly (14); a die-hard Longhorn fan; and a former slave to SELF. My wife and I serve in Frontlines and re|engage. We love to step back and watch how God transforms minds, changes hearts, and heals marriages. Today is my sweet wife's birthday. If not for the transforming power and healing grace of God through Jesus Christ, my wife and I might not be celebrating this day together. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart! I love you!

Discussion Questions

1. What sin is creating deep furrows in your life? When will you confess it? What is holding you back?

2. If you are a married man, are you praying with your wife? Why not? Will you commit to pray with her today?

3. If you are a married woman, are you encouraging your husband to lead you in prayer every day?

4. If you are unmarried, are you in prayer for your family, your friends, your church, and the spouse that God may bring to you one day?

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