In The Word
Read: Psalms 102
Prayer of an Afflicted Man for Mercy on Himself and on Zion.
A Prayer of the Afflicted when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the Lord.
102 Hear my prayer, O Lord!
And let my cry for help come to You.
2 Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress;
Incline Your ear to me;
In the day when I call answer me quickly.
3 For my days have been consumed in smoke,
And my bones have been scorched like a hearth.
4 My heart has been smitten like grass and has withered away,
Indeed, I forget to eat my bread.
5 Because of the loudness of my groaning
My bones cling to my flesh.
6 I resemble a pelican of the wilderness;
I have become like an owl of the waste places.
7 I lie awake,
I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop.
8 My enemies have reproached me all day long;
Those who deride me have used my name as a curse.
9 For I have eaten ashes like bread
And mingled my drink with weeping
10 Because of Your indignation and Your wrath,
For You have lifted me up and cast me away.
11 My days are like a lengthened shadow,
And I wither away like grass.
12 But You, O Lord, abide forever,
And Your name to all generations.
13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion;
For it is time to be gracious to her,
For the appointed time has come.
14 Surely Your servants find pleasure in her stones
And feel pity for her dust.
15 So the nations will fear the name of the Lord
And all the kings of the earth Your glory.
16 For the Lord has built up Zion;
He has appeared in His glory.
17 He has regarded the prayer of the destitute
And has not despised their prayer.
18 This will be written for the generation to come,
That a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.
19 For He looked down from His holy height;
From heaven the Lord gazed upon the earth,
20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner,
To set free those who were doomed to death,
21 That men may tell of the name of the Lord in Zion
And His praise in Jerusalem,
22 When the peoples are gathered together,
And the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.
23 He has weakened my strength in the way;
He has shortened my days.
24 I say, “O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days,
Your years are throughout all generations.
25 “Of old You founded the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
26 “Even they will perish, but You endure;
And all of them will wear out like a garment;
Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed.
27 “But You are the same,
And Your years will not come to an end.
28 “The children of Your servants will continue,
And their descendants will be established before You.”
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
As we navigate through life, we often see things happen to others as well as ourselves. These events weigh us down and sometimes affect us negatively. Sickness, debt, relational issues, and job problems can happen to anyone. They are not just directed toward the wayward, but also the believer. All of these things listed before will produce a response from the individual that is experiencing a trial, and it is at these times that we really know whom we depend upon.
In our reading today, the writer was having an extreme difficulty in his life. He stated that he was in distress and that he was suffering from some physical illness. He was also discouraged, and his name was being slandered by his enemies. Do not get caught up in the seemingly complaining nature of this Psalm; rather, notice to whom this Psalm is addressed to. Although his afflictions were real and troubling, he still knew to cry out to God in the times of trouble.
Listen, no matter what it is you are enduring or faced with, do not whine as one who is defeated. Do not allow an unfortunate situation to cause you to complain to others who may become discouraged as a result of your words. Instead, cry out to He who will hear and answer you. The writer knew that the Father would deliver them from all their afflictions. “You will arise and have compassion on Zion; For it is time to be gracious to her, For the appointed time has come” (Psalm 102:13). Be patient and cry out to the Father for He will hear you.