Since Israel's beginnings, the world has fought against it. The Philistines, Pharoah, The Babylonian Empire, The Assyrian Empire, The Roman Empire, The Holy Christian Empire, the German Reich, and other groups.
YET Israel's enemies have not prevailed. As the psalmist writes, "The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows."
What an imagery! Then the psalmist adds, "Selah" which means "Pause and Consider that. Meditate on that."
Enemies are relentless. They desire to make long furrows that dig deep. They aim to wear down the people of God. The enemies of the righteous have cords which they use to bind God's people. But God is faithful. He breaks the cords. The Psalmist curses his would-be oppressors by asking God to let the enemies of Zion be confused and short-lived. The imagery of grass forsaken by the sheaf-gatherer is a powerful one as the righteous are often compared to good wheat harvested by God. The psalm ends with the imagery of the righteous being rejected, abandoned, unwanted, unused by God, and unloved.
1Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say:
2Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.
3The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows.
4The LORD is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.
5Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.
6Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up:
7Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom.
8Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the LORD be upon you: we bless you in the name of the LORD.