Psalm 102:18-28:I am desolate: Save me!

Psalm 102:1-17

I’ll declare your praises in Zion

18 This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord. 19 For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth;20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death;21 To declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem;22 When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.

https://www.biblegateway.com/Psalm 102 KJV

The psalmist begs God to intercede on his behalf and address his suffering and the community’s suffering. Nevertheless, he does so by recollecting all of YHWH’s acts of redemption in the past. And appeals to YHWH’s ego by telling Him that his act of redemption will lead all people to worship Him. Here is the caveat, This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.” When it is all said and done, this act of deliverance will be written down for future generations to praise YHWH. This verse implies that the entire world will worship YHWH because of this act of deliverance. “22 When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.There will come a time in the not too distant future when every human being on planet earth will worship God. See Revelation 19-22.

You are the same God

23 He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days.24 I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:27 But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.28 The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.

In the last section of this psalm, the psalmist returns to his current state and his original complaint. Apparently, he feels that he is at the point of death. See verse 24. Then the writer flips back to the immutability of God and His creative powers. See verse 25. This statement sounds so much like Job. In Job, the patriarch records, “Are thy days as the days of man? are thy years as man’s days,” (Job 15:5). We will cease to exist in this flesh, but the Kingdom of God will never cease. “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away (Matt. 24:34-35). Verses 25 to 27 is astounding because the Book of Hebrews implies that Jesus is God, and there is no end to His kingdom. See Hebrews 1:10. John 1:1-3 confirms that assertion. Jesus was the established seed referenced in verse 28. Although the world as we know it today will come to an end, there will be a time when a new earth and heaven replaces this sin-filled, polluted planet. See Isa. 51:6; 65:17; Matt. 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33; 2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12

Despite all the turmoil that you and I see all around us every day, remember that God keeps His promises. His promises never fail. Pray continually for your own internal peace and the peace of your community. The new few days will become challenging. Trust in the Lord to get you through them. .28 The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

Reference

Longman, III, Tremper. Psalms : An Introduction and Commentary, InterVarsity Press, 2014. Google Books.

Psalm Chapter 102:Oh God, I am so distress! Part 1.

Title: “A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD.”

Context

Psalm 102 is an individual lament. Just look at the title. However, the speaker of this psalm is not just lamenting for himself. He is also praying this lament on behalf of the community [see verses 13 and 16]. Theologians traditionally categorize Psalm 102 as a penitential psalm because the speaker connects his challenges to his sins, and confesses those sins while he is praying; for example see Pss 6, 32, 38, 51, 130, 143. On the other hand, the speaker in this psalms does not acknowledge any particular sin on this prayer.

Lord hear my prayer

1 Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee.Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.

The psalm begins wit a plea for the writer to have their prayers heard. They also want to experience God’s presence while they are praying ,(see verse 2).

I’m suffering

For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.My heart is smitten and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread. By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. I watch and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop. Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me. For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping. 10 Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down. 11 My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.

The psalmist neither identifies the reason nor the cause of his suffering. Look at how he evokes figurative to connotate the degree of his suffering. This section of the psalm reads like the laments of Jeremiah and Job. See Job 4:4; 30:17;33:19, 21. Jeremiah talks about fire being shut up in his bones Jer. 20:9. The phrase “withered like grass” denotes the fate of grass under the hot desert sun of the area. His distress is so severe that he groans like Job in Job 19:20. “Sparrow alone” the writer feels like a solitary bird perched in a tree. The psalmist expresses his feelings of abandonment by both humans and God. His nights are sleepless “I am like an owl.” Verse 8 sounds just like Job 30 He knows that God is angry with him

Rebuild Zion

12 But thou, O Lord, shall endure forever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. 13 Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. 14 For thy servants take pleasure in her stones and favour the dust thereof. 15 So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. 16 When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.

Even though the psalmist is concerned about his situation he knows that God is his hope. He knows that he will “rebuild” zion. He is not just talking about physically restoring Zion, he is also talking about restoring her previous “untouchableness.” Her previous glory when the heathen “feared” God because His presence was there “he shall appear in his glory.” Not only will His presence be there, but he will also hear the prayers of His people. God would hear the prayers of the poor, the powerless, and the friendless.  What will happen when that occurs. The psalmist will “declare YHWH’s praises in Zion.

To Be continued..

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