Here in this psalm we see two things. First we see the persecution that the Jewish people have suffered throughout history. We see it first in Egypt, then through the times of the judges and periods of the kings, all the way down into the exile. It then continued on through their return from Babylon and into the times of the Greeks and Romans. We saw it arise again through Hitler and the wars against Israel waged by the different nations in the Middle East. Even today, many of the Arabian states would shed no tears were Israel to be wiped off the face of the earth.
But then as now, the Jews can say,
They have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me. (2)
In other words (and this is the second thing), we see God’s hand on Israel throughout all their trials.
The same can be said of us who are the spiritual heirs of Abraham. We may face persecution as well whether it’s rejection by our family or friends, or attacks from our own governments and courts. But God will help us and his church to stand. They will not gain the victory over us if we will just stand.
So let us never forget the words of our Lord when he said,
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)