August 30, 2017
Scripture Reading – Psalms 102-104
Our scripture reading today is three psalms, Psalm 102, Psalm 103 and Psalm 104.
Psalm 102 is a psalm of confession and repentance. Although the author is not known, sincere believers will readily identify with his cry of repentance and the blessed promise the LORD hears our confession, forgives sin and restores His child to fellowship (Psalm 102:1-4).
In a series of vignettes (portraits), the psalmist paints for us the sorrows and afflictions he felt when he looked honestly at the spiritual, physical and emotional toll sin had taken on his life. His days were like a puff of smoke, empty and void (102:3). Like grass withering in the midday sun, his heart was dried up (102:4). His flesh was gaunt and wasted, like a dead man walking (102:5). “Like a pelican of the wilderness… an owl of the desert… a sparrow alone upon the house top”, he felt alone in his misery (102:6-7). Summing up his miserable state, the psalmist declared his life was “like a shadow that declineth…[and] withered like grass” (102:11).
Notice the psalmist’s despair turned to hope when his focus moved from his sin to the LORD (Psalm 102:12-28).
Psalm 102:12 – “But thou, O LORD [Jehovah; Eternal, Self-Existent God]], shalt endure [dwell; abide; sit enthroned] for ever [eternity]; and thy remembrance [memorial] unto all generations [evermore].
The psalmist’s emphasis on “Zion” (the mount upon which Jerusalem is built) most likely places this psalm toward the end of the Babylonian captivity when the LORD promised Israel would be restored to her land as a nation (102:13-21).
With eyes of faith, the psalmist takes comfort knowing the LORD reigned in heaven and had not forgotten His people (102:17-20). Longing to see Israel restored before his death, the psalmist prayed that his life would not be cut short (102:23-24).
Psalm 102 concludes with the focus upon the character of the LORD. The writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm 102:25-28 and identifies Jesus Christ as the subject (Hebrews 1:10-12) revealing the Lord is Creator (102:25), Enduring (102:26), Immutable (102:27a), Eternal (102:27b) and Faithful (102:28).
I have no way of knowing the challenges we may face today; however, be confident of this…we are secure in the LORD (Psalm 102:28).
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith