Psalm 102

Psalm 102

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Do Not Hide Your Face from Me

A Prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the LORD.

102   Hear my prayer, O LORD;
  let my cry come to you!
  Do not hide your face from me
    in the day of my distress!
  Incline your ear to me;
    answer me speedily in the day when I call!
  For my days pass away like smoke,
    and my bones burn like a furnace.
  My heart is struck down like grass and has withered;
    I forget to eat my bread.
  Because of my loud groaning
    my bones cling to my flesh.
  I am like a desert owl of the wilderness,
    like an owl of the waste places;
  I lie awake;
    I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.
  All the day my enemies taunt me;
    those who deride me use my name for a curse.
  For I eat ashes like bread
    and mingle tears with my drink,
  because of your indignation and anger;
    for you have taken me up and thrown me down.
  My days are like an evening shadow;
    I wither away like grass.
  But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever;
    you are remembered throughout all generations.
  You will arise and have pity on Zion;
    it is the time to favor her;
    the appointed time has come.
  For your servants hold her stones dear
    and have pity on her dust.
  Nations will fear the name of the LORD,
    and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory.
  For the LORD builds up Zion;
    he appears in his glory;
  he regards the prayer of the destitute
    and does not despise their prayer.
  Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
    so that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD:
  that he looked down from his holy height;
    from heaven the LORD looked at the earth,
  to hear the groans of the prisoners,
    to set free those who were doomed to die,
  that they may declare in Zion the name of the LORD,
    and in Jerusalem his praise,
  when peoples gather together,
    and kingdoms, to worship the LORD.
  He has broken my strength in midcourse;
    he has shortened my days.
  “O my God,” I say, “take me not away
    in the midst of my days—
  you whose years endure
    throughout all generations!”
  Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
  They will perish, but you will remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
  You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
    but you are the same, and your years have no end.
  The children of your servants shall dwell secure;
    their offspring shall be established before you.

(ESV)


Psalm 102 Commentary

by Hank Workman

Standing looking at the state of life there are times we sigh and groan; we weep as the hurts, the sorrow has mounted.  There is seemingly nowhere to turn, nowhere to go.  For every direction has little to no hope of things changing.

There are various faces these feelings hold as for some it’s ongoing health battles where nothing seems to change our predicament.  It is the besetting loneliness that cannot be eradicated even when with others.  We’re in the midst of people but tangibly we recognize we are alone; not understood; isolated.  It’s found in the broken relationship that has no sight of turning to good or things being worked out toward reconciliation.  What trust there was is gone.  It’s found in the mounting debt that we’ve foolishly allowed to happen.  Yes, the face of affliction is different for all, almost tailor made it would seem, but the feelings are the same.

Distress takes many paths for us personally.  Like Job, we’re in personal agony where everything passes like meaningless smoke.  As the psalmist begs God to hear his prayer we do the same.  We pray for relief.  We pray for change.  We pray that a good and compassionate God who knows our affliction cannot just hear but will help.

And this is what we must never waver on even in our own affliction.  Our God’s word and will endures forever.  For many, we must come to the end of ourselves in order to grasp the deeper things of God.  For even though God may seemingly have gone silent – hear this:  His promises still remain.  He is faithful.  Although we feel at the moment alone, He is there.

As the psalmist has redirected from his own issues that have caused such problems personally, his focus changes to the God of all who is over all and in all.

You may feel as though you’re in the same place.  Come honestly before your God with the hardships that have assaulted you.  Yes, be forthright with the affliction and pain you feel.  But don’t get stuck there… cry out in prayer and plead for His merciful help but turn that focus then toward the very greatness of who God is and the victory that waits on the horizon.


Psalm 102 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

“The Psalm has been attributed to Daniel, to Jeremiah, to Nehemiah, or to some of the other prophets who flourished during the time of the captivity. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews has applied Psa 102:25-27 to our Lord, and the perpetuity of his kingdom.”

Adam Clarke

The author of Hebrews quotes this psalm in the first chapter.

And, “YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS;  11  THEY WILL PERISH, BUT YOU REMAIN; AND THEY ALL WILL BECOME OLD LIKE A GARMENT,  12  AND LIKE A MANTLE YOU WILL ROLL THEM UP; LIKE A GARMENT THEY WILL ALSO BE CHANGED. BUT YOU ARE THE SAME, AND YOUR YEARS WILL NOT COME TO AN END.”

Hebrews 1:10-12 NASB

Interestingly, Psalm 102 contains some amazing foreshadowing of Jesus the Messiah. This is why the passage is used in Hebrews. It is OT proof that Jesus is God and He is described as having the same attributes of God. Jesus was there at creation (laid the foundation of the earth). He is self-existent (pre-existed and will not perish but remain). He is sovereign and immutable (like a mantle You will roll them up.)

The whole point is that we change and He doesn’t. We will perish and He will not. So, naturally, if He is in us, we will NOT perish, but reign with Him eternally. When Jesus comes to “roll up” creation for the final time, it will as easy as a human taking an article of clothing and folding it up. Again, the psalm highlights Jesus’ pre-existence, sovereignty, and authority to take creation into His own hands since He has conquered death and sin.

Jesus owns us whether we like it or not. He owns us whether we believe it or not. He is coming again to roll up creation and take his bride with Him for all eternity.

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