“Since my youth they have often attacked me — let Israel say — Since my youth they have often attacked me, but they have not prevailed against me.”
David wrote Psalm 129 about Israel and in 1st person-from Israel’s perspective. Vss 1-2 state openly and plainly of how often and repeatedly Israel has been attcked and rightly so. History shows that Jerusalem has been attacked 25 times since David established it as Israel’s capitol city in 1003 BC (2Samuel 5:6 – 7, 9 – 10, 1Chronicles 12:23 – 39), including the following:
•925 B.C. Shishak, king of Egypt, takes the city (2 Chronicles 12:9, 1Kings 14:25 – 26)
•850 B.C. the Philistines, Arabians, and Ethiopians lay siege during the rule of King Jehoram (2Chronicles 21:16)
•792 B.C. Jehoash, king of Israel, attacks Amaziah, king of Judah (2Kings 14:13, 14). Jerusalem and the Temple are pillaged
•735 – 732 B.C. Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, king of Israel, go to war against Ahaz, king of Judah (2Chronicles 28)
•701 B.C. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, tries to lay siege to the city during the reign of King Hezekiah (2Chronicles 32). He threatens to destroy it but God has the Angel of the Lord kill 185,000 troops as they prepare to enter (2Kings 18 – 19)
•605 B.C. the prophet Daniel and his companions are taken captive to Babylon
•597 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar again attacks the city (2Chronicles 36:10). He captures King Jehoiachin whom he takes to Babylon
•586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar attacks a third time. He burns the temple, destroys the city and carries all the temple’s treasures to Babylon (2Kings 24:13, 2Chronicles 36)
•About 200 B.C. City is besieged and taken by Antiochus the Great
•164 B.C. Judas Maccabeus (Judah the Maccabee) leads an army of Jewish dissidents to victory over the Seleucids. The city is captured and the temple is rededicated
•63 B.C. the Roman Republic, under Pompey the Great, occupies Palestine (Judea) and takes Jerusalem
•1099 A.D. the city is captured by the army of the first Crusade. They murder almost all the Jews and Muslims
•1187 A.D. the city is taken from the Crusaders by Saladin
•1917 A.D. The Ottoman empire, which had controlled Jerusalem since at least 1517, was expelled from the city through attacks by the British under General Edmund Allenby
These are just a few!
So, some may ask, “if the Hebrews are God’s ‘chosen’ people and Jerusalem is it’s capitol city, why would God allow it to be attacked and destroyed so many times? I choose this prrspective: satan, God’s enemy would naturally target it’s capitol city for attack, especially since Israel’s assigment from God has ALWAYS been to display His goodness to the nations and bring His salvation to them. So, David’s opener, “Since my youth they have often attacked me, but they have not prevailed against me” is appropriate! Though attacked repeatedly, God has defended consistantly! My personal favorites are when the Angel of the Lord attacks and kills 185,000 Assyrian troops as they prepare to enter Jerusalem (2Kings 18 – 19) and the Hanukkah holiday the commemorates when the Maccabees successfully rebelled against Antiochus IV Epiphanes when the wicks of the menorah miraculously burned for eight days, even though there was only enough sacred oil for one day’s lighting (164 bc).
Now if God has been so vigilant to continually defend His chosen city, HOW MUCH MORE vigilant will He be to protect those of us whom Jesus died for?
I Peter 2:9 teaches us that, “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Not only as believers, are we chosen, we’re actually called God’s friends (John 15:15), for whom Jesus laid down His life (John 15:13). God loves you! He longs to rescue you! He wants to befriend you! Call out to Him today!
Think about it!
(historical resource: BibleStudy.org)