A song of ascents.
“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. Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long. But the LORD is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.” May all who hate Zion be turned back in shame. May they be like grass on the roof, which withers before it can grow; a reaper cannot fill his hands with it, nor one who gathers fill his arms. May those who pass by not say to them, “The blessing of the LORD be on you; we bless you in the name of the LORD.
You may be oppressed but you’re not defeated. OK, so you’re down, but you are not out. You may be on the short end of the score but the game is far from over. Hold your head high! Look up! The Lord does what is right and He will cut you free from the cords that bind you.
The psalmist was experiencing a tough time. From early in his life he was weighed down by heavy burdens. He describes the pain of his life as a plow digging a long furrow right down the middle of his back. But even when others were greatly oppressing him he proclaimed, “but they have not gained the victory over me.”
The enemy cannot and will not defeat you. He is incapable of gaining victory over you. Remember the words of Paul, “In all [of life’s challenges] we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37). “…neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39). Death itself has been “swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:54). Proclaim the truth with Paul and make it personal: “But thanks be to God! He gives [me] victory through [my] Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).
Father, thank You for the final victory that You have promised me because of Jesus. Even when it feels like my back is being plowed, thank You that nothing in this life can gain victory over me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.