Psa 102: Anguish & Hope
prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out
a lament before the Lord
Comments: This longer than average psalm is exactly
what the title says it is, but whether the psalmist speaks as
himself or as Jerusalem or as Israel is debatable. He cries to
the Lord (v.1,2] in anguish that is physical as well as spiritual
[v.3-9], believing he is under God's discipline [v.10,11]. He
appeals to the God who has shown Himself for Jerusalem [v.12-14],
seen by all the world [v.15-17]. He writes for the benefit of
future generations [v.18] reminding them that God had been for
Jerusalem [v.19-22] and that even though he himself is under the
Lord's discipline he had appealed to the Lord [v.23,24] and remains
convinced about the Lord, that He is the unchanging God who created
all things and us to be in relationship with Him [v.25-28]. Hope
is still there, implied at the end.]
The psalmist cries to the Lord for Him to listen when he calls
my prayer, Lord;
let my cry for help come to you.
not hide your face from me
when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
when I call, answer me quickly.
The causes of his anguish
days vanish like smoke;
bones burn like glowing embers.
heart is blighted and withered like grass;
forget to eat my food.
my distress I groan aloud
am reduced to skin and bones.
like a desert owl,
like an owl among the ruins.
lie awake; I have become
like a bird alone on a roof.
day long my enemies taunt me;
those who rail against me use my name
as a curse.
I eat ashes as my food
and mingle my drink with tears
He feels he is under God's discipline
of your great wrath,
for you have taken me up and thrown me
days are like the evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.
God's renown in respect of Jerusalem is cherished by His people
you, Lord ,
sit enthroned for ever;
your renown endures through all generations.
will arise and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to show favour to her;
the appointed time has come.
her stones are dear to your servants;
her very dust moves them to pity.
The world will see His work in Jerusalem and know and seek Him
nations will fear the name of the Lord,
all the kings of the earth will revere
will rebuild Zion
and appear in his glory.
will respond to the prayer of the destitute;
he will not despise their plea.
He writes so future generations will also know
this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise
the Lord :
God's works of deliverance of Israel are praised in Jerusalem
and then the world
looked down from his sanctuary on high,
from heaven he viewed the earth,
hear the groans of the prisoners
and release those condemned to death.'
the name of the Lord
will be declared
and his praise in Jerusalem
the peoples and the kingdoms
assemble to worship the Lord.
He appeals (as Israel or Jerusalem) for God's discipline to be
the course of my life he broke my strength;
he cut short my days.
‘Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days;
your years go on through all generations.
The Creator is unchanging and eternal, establishing a people
the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your
will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
and they will be discarded.
you remain the same,
and your years will never end.
children of your servants will live in your presence;
their descendants will be established
Comments: Following up on the title, a useful exercise
is to check out each of the (ten) causes of anguish in verses
3 to 9 to catch what the psalmist is feeling and what has been
happening to him. Whatever the true cause, he feels it is the
Lord who has either brought this on him or allowed it to happen
to him [v.10,11,23,24] Despite this, his sense of the Lord's presence
and activity is still strong [v.12-17,19,20]. Above all the Lord
is sovereign, the Creator of the earth, the faithful and unchanging
One, [v.25-27] which brings a confidence that His love will continue
to be manifest to the next and following generations [v.28], being
conveyed as a testimony to future generations. [v.18] Anguish
to Psa 103