PSALM ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE
Outline
  1. Confession of Trust (vv.1-3)
  2. Prayer for the Righteous and Prediction for the Wicked (vv.4,5)
TITLE: A Song of Ascents ( ryvi [n.m.s., song] tAl[]M;h; [def.art.w/n.f.p., ma-alah, step, story, ascent]).
Confession of Trust (vv.1-3)

VERSE 1 Those who trust in the LORD ( ~yxij.Boh; [Qal.pt.m.p. xjB batach, trust] hw"hyB; [prep.w/pr.n.])

Are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever ( !AYci-rh;K [prep.w/n.m.s., har, hill, mountain, pr.n.] jAMyI-al{. [neg. + Niphil.impf.3.m.s. jwm mot, be moved, overthrown] ~l'A[l. [prep.w/n.m.s., ever] `bveyE [Qal.impf.3.m.s., yashab, dwell, abide])

VERSE 2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem ( ~yrIh' [n.m.p., har, mountain] bybis' [adv., sabibh, around; "surround"] ~l;iv'Wry> [pr.n.]),

So the LORD surrounds His people ( hw"hyw: [conj.w/pr.n.] bybis' [adv., "surrounds"] Hl' [prep.w/3.f.s.sf., "her" = Jerusalem] AM[;l. [prep.w/n.m.s.w/3.m.s.sf., am, people])

From this time forth and forever ( hT'[;me [prep.w/adv. of time, now] `~l'A[-d[;w> [conj.w/prep. of continuous existence + n.m.s, ever]).

VERSE 3 For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest upon the land of the righteous ( yKi [conj.] jb,ve [n.m.s.cstr., shebhet, staff, scepter] [v;r,h' [def.art. w/n.m.s., resha, wickedness] al{ [neg.] x;Wny" [Qal.impf.3.m.s., nuach, rest] l[; [prep., upon] lr;AG [n.m.s.cstr., goral, lot, portion; "land"] ~yqiyDIC;h; [def.art.w/adj.m.p., tsadiq, righteous]);

So that the righteous will not put forth their hands to do wrong ( ![;m;l. [prep., lema-an, "So that"] ~yqiyDIC;h; [def.art.w/adj.m.p.] Wxl.v.yI-al{ [neg. + Qal.impf.3.m.p. xlv shalach, send, extend; "put forth"] `~h,ydey> [n.f.dual.w/2.m.p.sf., yadh, hand] ht'l'w>[;B. [prep.w/n.f.s. hl'w>[; awelah, injustice; "wrong"]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 1-3

  1. The background is similar to that of Psalms 123 and 124.
  2. The people of Israel are under foreign domination.
  3. This situation resulted when the nation was under the five cycles of discipline of Lev.26.
  4. This psalm best fits the situation of the Tribulation.
  5. This psalm is a prophetic song dealing with occupation of the land under the brief rule of the antichrist.
  6. It is a prophetic look at the testing and vindication of the righteous within the State of Israel in the last half of the seven-year Tribulation.
  7. At no other time in Israelís past were all apostates among the Jews expelled within a setting of foreign domination as vss.3-5 suggest.
  8. Psalm 125 is designed to encourage those who remain faithful to God in the face of strong temptation not to compromise.
  9. The steadfastness with which those who trust in Yahweh in the face of every kind of temptation and assault is compared to Mount Zion, "which cannot be moved, but abides forever".
  10. To trust in Yahweh is to put fidelity to Him and His covenant (WOG) above difficult and adverse external circumstances.
  11. The beleaguered minority, at any point in Jewish history, are assured that their interests and faith are as secure as the hill of destiny.
  12. The earthly Mount Zion is a modest hill whose top is not as high as the tops of the surrounding hills: it lies 66 meters below that of the Mount of Olives, 76 meters below that of Mount Scopus, 33 meters below that of the hill to the west, and 53 meters below that of ras el-mekhaber.
  13. In the Songs of Zion, Mount Zionís supremacy is described in terms of victory over the nations massed against Zion.
  14. Godís eternal purpose within the divine decrees is to install His Son as ruler of the earth on this hill (Ps.2:6ff).
  15. This place is special to God above all other places, with the heritage of Jacob (Ps.68:15,16; cp. 87:1).
  16. Some interpreters are of the opinion that the heavenly Zion must be understood on account of the Babylonian and Roman catastrophes.
  17. But these only came upon the buildings, not upon the mountain itself, which according to appointed destiny, remains unshaken (cf. Micah.4:1).
  18. The reasoning is, if Godís purposes regarding Zion can be frustrated, then His ability to deliver and reward those who trust in Him is in jeopardy.
  19. The physical location and the divinely intended purpose remain inviolable onward to the Kingdom age.
  20. Verse 2 makes it clear that none other than the earthly Jerusalem is meant.
  21. The eternal and holy city has a natural ring of hills surrounding it.
  22. They are symbolic of Yahwehís everlasting protection of His covenant people.
  23. Their vital interests, based on their trust in Him, will be validated in time and eternity.
  24. The cityís geographical location, with surrounding higher hills and valleys between, is a natural fortress providing protection by God.
  25. So God "surrounds His people", and He does so at the present moment onward into the unforeseeable future (v.2b).
  26. Even in persecution, the adjusted believer is afforded special consideration so that nothing can happen that will interfere with Ph2 sanctification and the blessings thereof.
  27. The Lord is there in each and every circumstance to encourage, sustain, and aid us no matter the degree of affliction.
  28. Our part is to trust in Him no matter what.
  29. Verse 3 envisages a situation in which a foreign power is in control of the Jewish homeland.
  30. This has happened on numerous occasions over the course of Israelite history and will temporarily be the case in the Tribulation.
  31. The "scepter of wickedness" (vs.3a) refers to foreign domination of the land and people of Israel.
  32. The "land of the righteous" refers to the land that is promised to the true seed of Abraham.
  33. So the "scepter of wickedness" is the pagan rule, and "the righteous" are the adjusted Israelites who hold fast to the faith of their fathers.
  34. The holy land, whose ultimate inheritors are the righteous, is called their "lot" (translated "land" in v.3a).
  35. Under the Abrahamic covenant, the land is promised in perpetuity to the true heirs.
  36. Israel, on three occasions, has lost control of the land due to violation of the Mosaic covenant.
  37. God, however, will not allow foreign domination to continue indefinitely, but only until such time as He determines.
  38. When the righteous are of sufficient numbers, God will act to restore the land to its rightful tenancy.
  39. The peopleís tenancy is a divine right to which they may boldly lay claim at the time of their spiritual awakening.
  40. Beyond a point the Lord will not allow such profanation to continue, lest His righteous ones grow weary in their faith and turn away from Him in despair (v.3b; Mal.3:15-18; Mt.24:12).
  41. This psalm has special appeal when applied to Israel in the Tribulation.
  42. God must fulfill His obligations with respect to the beleaguered or they would be unduly tempted to think according to Ps.73:13 (read vv.2-28).
  43. There is the temptation under the adversity of the arrogant and well-off to think that serving God is a rip-off.
  44. God is understanding when it comes to our human frailty (cf. Ps.103:9-17).
  45. God graciously provides us with relief lest we abandon our integrity and "put forth" our "hands to do wrong".
  46. This is a very intriguing concept.
 
Prayer for the Righteous and Prediction for the Wicked (vv.4,5)

VERSE 4 Do good, O LORD, to those who are good ( hb'yjiyhe [Hiphil.imper. yatabh, be good; do good] hw"hy> [pr.n.] ~ybiAJl; [def.art.w/prep.w.adj.m.s., tobh, good]),

And to those who are upright in their hearts ( ~yrIv'yliw> [conj.w/adj.m.p., yashar, upright] `~t'ABliB. [prep.w/n.m.p.cstr.w/3.m.p.sf., lebh, heart]).

VERSE 5 But as for those who turn aside to their crooked ways ( ~yJiM;h;w> [conj.w/def.art.w/Hiphil.pt.m.p., natah, stretch out; incline, turn aside] ~t'ALq;l.q;[; [adj.f.p.w/2.m.p.sf. lq;l.q;[] aqaleqal, winding; 2X: Judg.5:6; "crooked ways"]),

The LORD will lead them away with the doers of iniquity ( hw"hy> [pr.n.] ~keyliAy [Hiphil.impf.3.m.s.w/3.m.p.sf., halak, walk; lead away] yle[]Po-ta, [dir.obj. + Qal.pt.m.p., pa-al, do] !w<a'h' [def.art.w/n.m.s., awen, iniquity]).

Peace be upon Israel ( ~Alv' [n.m.s., peace] `laer'f.yI-l[; [prep. + pr.n.].

ANALYSIS: VERSES 4,5

  1. The concluding strophe opens with a direct prayer.
  2. Based on the strong faith of v.1 and the confident hope of v.3, the petition now arises that Yahweh would speedily bestow the desired liberation upon the faithful ones and deal with the traitors among the people.
  3. First, based on His covenant care for the faithful of the chosen race, Yahweh is asked to intervene in the political realm and liberate them from the yoke of foreign occupation.
  4. "Do good" means to act in accordance with the promised blessing of the Mosaic covenant.
  5. "Those who are upright/good" are those who, during the time of foreign oppression, refused to be bought off.
  6. These are the ones who, in the sincerity of their hearts, are uprightly disposed as God would have it.
  7. Their efforts to conform to the standards of the WOG constitute an appeal to God to fulfill His own obligations (cf. Prov.2:20-22).
  8. This prayer is always apropos for those who have hung in there and need relief (cp. 3Jn.2).
  9. In v.5b he predicts what will happen to those among his people who "turn aside to their crooked ways" (vs.5a).
  10. Like the foreign intruders, they will be banished from the land of Israel.
  11. Those among the Jews who align themselves with the antichrist will share his end.
  12. Jesus Christ will remove from the earth all unbelievers at His coming.
  13. Unbelieving Jews and Gentiles will be removed by the baptism of fire.
  14. Having had every chance to repent and believe, they will be totally without excuse.
  15. "Those who turn aside to their crooked ways" are members of the chosen race who remain in a state of unbelief during the era of Israelís awakening from their long time in unbelief.
  16. "The doers of iniquity" are their unbelieving, paganized counterparts among the Gentiles.
  17. All will be expelled from the land and the righteous will inherit it in accord with the covenants to Israel.
  18. The purging of Israel of all false Jews by the Messiah is predicted in Ezek.20:33-38.
  19. The psalm closes with a priestly benediction upon the believing race.
  20. "Peace" is the result of making the adjustments to God.
  21. "Israel" refers to true Jews who are believers and who therefore share in Israelís eternal destiny.
  22. The minimal requirement is the salvation adjustment (cf. Rom.2:29).
  23. Psalm 125 gives insight into the faith of post-Rapture Israel.
  24. It reveals a society struggling with the pressures of foreign domination when the antichrist establishes his "scepter of wickedness upon the land".
  25. The Lordís protective power and faithfulness to the ancient covenants concerning the land and the people bring comfort to the beleaguered to preserve.
 

 

END: PSALM ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE
JACK M. BALLINGER
NOVEMBER, 1997
 

© Copyright 1998, Maranatha Church Inc.