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Psalm 102

Prayer to the Eternal King for Help

A prayer of one afflicted, when faint and pleading before the Lord.

1

Hear my prayer, O Lord;

let my cry come to you.

2

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.

 

3

For my days pass away like smoke,

and my bones burn like a furnace.

4

My heart is stricken and withered like grass;

I am too wasted to eat my bread.

5

Because of my loud groaning

my bones cling to my skin.

6

I am like an owl of the wilderness,

like a little owl of the waste places.

7

I lie awake;

I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.

8

All day long my enemies taunt me;

those who deride me use my name for a curse.

9

For I eat ashes like bread,

and mingle tears with my drink,

10

because of your indignation and anger;

for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.

11

My days are like an evening shadow;

I wither away like grass.

 

12

But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;

your name endures to all generations.

13

You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,

for it is time to favor it;

the appointed time has come.

14

For your servants hold its stones dear,

and have pity on its dust.

15

The nations will fear the name of the Lord,

and all the kings of the earth your glory.

16

For the Lord will build up Zion;

he will appear in his glory.

17

He will regard the prayer of the destitute,

and will not despise their prayer.

 

18

Let this be recorded for a generation to come,

so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:

19

that he looked down from his holy height,

from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,

20

to hear the groans of the prisoners,

to set free those who were doomed to die;

21

so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion,

and his praise in Jerusalem,

22

when peoples gather together,

and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.

 

23

He has broken my strength in midcourse;

he has shortened my days.

24

“O my God,” I say, “do not take me away

at the midpoint of my life,

you whose years endure

throughout all generations.”

 

25

Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,

and the heavens are the work of your hands.

26

They will perish, but you endure;

they will all wear out like a garment.

You change them like clothing, and they pass away;

27

but you are the same, and your years have no end.

28

The children of your servants shall live secure;

their offspring shall be established in your presence.


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Verses 1–11

The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; but here, is often elsewhere, the Holy Ghost has put words into our mouths. Here is a prayer put into the hands of the afflicted; let them present it to God. Even good men may be almost overwhelmed with afflictions. It is our duty and interest to pray; and it is comfort to an afflicted spirit to unburden itself, by a humble representation of its griefs. We must say, Blessed be the name of the Lord, who both gives and takes away. The psalmist looked upon himself as a dying man; My days are like a shadow.

Verses 12–22

We are dying creatures, but God is an everlasting God, the protector of his church; we may be confident that it will not be neglected. When we consider our own vileness, our darkness and deadness, and the manifold defects in our prayers, we have cause to fear that they will not be received in heaven; but we are here assured of the contrary, for we have an Advocate with the Father, and are under grace, not under the law. Redemption is the subject of praise in the Christian church; and that great work is described by the temporal deliverance and restoration of Israel. Look down upon us, Lord Jesus; and bring us into the glorious liberty of thy children, that we may bless and praise thy name.

Verses 23–28

Bodily distempers soon weaken our strength, then what can we expect but that our months should be cut off in the midst; and what should we do but provide accordingly? We must own God's hand in it; and must reconcile this to his love, for often those that have used their strength well, have it weakened; and those who, as we think, can very ill be spared, have their days shortened. It is very comfortable, in reference to all the changes and dangers of the church, to remember that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. And in reference to the death of our bodies, and the removal of friends, to remember that God is an everlasting God. Do not let us overlook the assurance this psalm contains of a happy end to all the believer's trials. Though all things are changing, dying, perishing, like a vesture folding up and hastening to decay, yet Jesus lives, and thus all is secure, for he hath said, Because I live ye shall live also.




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