October 26, Victory in Oppression
Today’s reading: Psalms 126-130
“‘They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,’ let Israel say; ‘they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me’” - Psalm 129:1-2.
Keep in mind that the psalms were edited into their current order -- and a few of them were written — when Israel was in Babylonian exile. There they were subjected to ridicule and idolatrous customs. Yet the Babylonians could not break their spirit. Perhaps you are in a bad ministry or job situation with a cruel overseer, or facing oppression from some other source. How can you keep that from gaining the victory over you? First, extend forgiveness, even if it means forgiving your oppressor(s) on a daily basis! Second, keep your commitment to obey the Lord strong; don’t blame or be angry with Him over your situation. Third, have hope and remember your past, and live in the reality that God is with you and will one day make things right. Fourth, keep in mind that God is an avenger, and He will one day give to your oppressors as they deserve. Fifth, pray for mercy for your oppressor(s) so that you can also receive mercy from God. Finally, read Daniel’s story in Daniel 1-6 to learn from how he handled his own Babylonian exile, for there you will see that while he was a prisoner, he always had the victory, even over his conquerors.