Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Psalm 102

Prayer of an Overwhelmed Spirit

Some believe that David penned this psalm at the time of Absalom's rebellion, which truly had to be one of the devastatingly low points of David's life.  Regardless of its author, it is clear that Psalm 102 is a prayer of the afflicted when he is overwhelmed and pouring out his heart / complaint before the Lord.  Have you been in this position before - completely overwhelmed by circumstances in your life and literally on your face before God? 

Matthew Henry comments regarding pouring out our complaints before the Lord:
When our state and our spirits are overwhelmed, it is our duty by prayer to pour out our complaints before the Lord, which intimates the leave God gives us to be free with Him and the liberty of speech we have before Him.
The psalmist's request of God in verse 2 is always ours, isn't it?  answer me speedily!
Incline Your ear to me;
In the day that I call,
answer me speedily.
~ Ps. 102:2
Much like Job, I think it would be wise of us to turn our prayer to praise and not remain in a state of complaint for too very long.  Job is an excellent example of this.

Though He slay me,
Yet I will trust in Him.
~ Job 13:15-16
The Lord gives, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
~ Job 1:21

Over and over in the Bible, we are encouraged to commit our pain and suffering to God, realizing that He is faithful to work out all things for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28):

Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God
commit their souls to Him in doing good
as to a faithful Creator.
~ I Peter 4:19

Psalm 102 has one of my favorite Bible verses:

This will be written for the generations to come,
That a people yet to be created will praise the Lord.
~ Ps. 102:18
I have written in the margin of my Bible - "me!"  because I am one of those who, though not yet created at the time of this Psalm, am now alive and praising the Lord!  Matthew Henry comments:
Many that are now unborn shall, by reading the history of the church, praise the Lord for His answers to prayer. 
And I am such a one!

The psalmist concludes with this verse:
The children of Your servants will continue,
And the descendants will be established before You.
~ Ps. 102:28
In the Old Testament, posterity (future generations) was regarded as a sign of divine favor.  Though the righteous person may die, God will keep faith with him through his children.

  • God hears the prayer of the destitute
  • The Lord shall endure forever
  • God is merciful
  • The Lord looks down on us from Heaven
  • God is the same
  • God's years have no end
  • I praise the Lord that He does hear the prayer of the destitute . . . me!
  • I praise the Lord that Psalm 102 was written for a generation to come . . . me!
  • I praise God for His mercy
  • I praise God that for His immutability - that He never changes
PRAYER: by Warren & Ruth Myers
     Lord, help those who are suffering.  Again and again meet their needs - physical, financial, emotional, spiritual.  Through their pain or loss or trouble, make them aware of how much they need You.  Then draw them to You as their Savior and Shepherd - and their Lord.  Comfort them in their anguish, their pain, their depression, their despair.  Deliver them.
     Give Your joy to those who suffer.  Put a new song of praise in their mouth, so that many will hear what You've done and put their trust in You.  Amen and amen.

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