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Friday, May 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 102

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-28

Psalms 102:1-28

In Psalms 102:1-28 , David begins with a prayer asking God to hear his prayer.

Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline your ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily ( Psalms 102:1-2 ).

How impatient we are with God, and yet, how important it is to us that God is patient with us. Yet it seems that whenever I pray I want speedy answers from God. I, again, I can identify with David. I want judgment on my enemies and I want speedy answers when I cry unto the Lord. I don't like to wait on the Lord. I don't like to wait for His answers to come. When I snap my fingers I want action, you know. I want God to move now in this case. And I don't want to have to wait for God to answer my prayers. I guess, again, it is something that is just very natural. And yet, turn the thing around, and when God is desiring something from me, I like Him to just be patient with me and give me a chance to work it out, and I'll get there when I have opportunity, you know. And it something that I want God to extend His patience towards me in a very liberal sense. But yet, I want speedy answers to my prayers.

For my days are consumed as smoke, and my bones are burned as a hearth. My heart is smitten and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread ( Psalms 102:3-4 ).

That's pretty bad, when you get so smitten that you don't eat any more.

By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop. Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me. For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with tears, Because of your indignation and your wrath: for you have lifted me up, and cast me down. My days are like a shadow that declineth ( Psalms 102:5-11 );

Now he is referring actually to the sundial. The method by which they kept time in those days. And the declining shadow on a sundial, the day is about over. "My days are about over. My day is like the shadow that declineth."

and I am withered like grass. But ( Psalms 102:11 )

In contrast,

Thou, O LORD, shall endure forever; and thy remembrance to all generations ( Psalms 102:12 ).

I am about ready to pass off from the scene. I am withered like grass; my days are like a declining shadow, but God, You go on forever and ever.

Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favor her, yea, the set time, is come ( Psalms 102:13 ).

So he looks forward now, prophetically, to that time when God is going to work again in Israel among the people. Before they came into the land, while still in the wilderness, Moses gave to them God's covenant whereby they would inherit the land. The covenant of God's blessings that would rest upon them if they would walk with God, and if they would serve the Lord. "Then," God said, "I will bless your crops. I will bless your children. I'll bless your families." And all of the blessings that God had promised if they would walk with Him. "But if you turn," God said, "and walk after other gods, and bow down, and worship them and sacrifice your children unto them, then," God said, "I will turn against thee, and I will bring plagues upon the land. I will bring thee enemies in upon the land, and finally," God said, "and I will give you over to captivity and you will be scattered throughout all of the earth and you'll become a curse and a byword among the nations upon the earth."

And so God promised even before they came into the land, the dispersion that would take place if they turned against God. They would be scattered throughout all the world. We only have to look at their history to see the confirmation of God's Word to them. As long as they sought the Lord, God made them to prosper. When they turned from the Lord, the curses that God declared came upon them. Their land was smitten with drought and with famine. And the enemies came in and they were taken captive, and ultimately they were dispersed and scattered throughout the whole world.

But even in Deuteronomy, before they came into the land, God promised that the day would come when He would gather them together again, from all the parts of the earth, wherever they had been scattered, and He would bring them back and establish them in the land once again. Now this is the thread that runs through the prophecies of the Old Testament. God's faithfulness to His covenant to Abraham that the land would belong to him and to his seed.

And it is wrong to make that a spiritual analogy to the church and say, "Well, God has rejected now Israel forever and the church is spiritual Israel, and thus, the promises apply now to the church in a spiritual sense." It is true that we are all the children of Abraham by faith in Jesus Christ and that we all now can partake of God's covenant to Abraham. That is, that God will impute righteousness to us by faith. And yet, God is still going to deal with the nation Israel.

The Lord said to Daniel, "There are seventy sevens that are determined upon the nation Israel. Sixty-nine of those sevens would transpire between the time the commandment went forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, to the coming of the Messiah the Prince. But," he said, "The Messiah will be cut off, with nothing for Himself. And the people will be dispersed." But then God speaks of the prince of the people that will come who will make a covenant with the nation Israel and in the midst of the final seven-year cycle will break the covenant as he establishes the abomination which causes desolation. The sixty-nine sevens that God had appointed upon the nation Israel were fulfilled from the time that Artaxerxes gave the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, to the coming of Jesus Christ was 483 years in the Babylonian calendar.

There is a final seven-year period that is yet to take place. It is yet future. Jesus, making reference to the abomination of desolation as was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, refers it to yet a future event, an event that will precede His second coming. Jesus, in referring to the abomination of desolation, said, "When you see the abomination of desolation that was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, let him who reads, understand. Then flee to the wilderness." So the seventieth seven-year cycle of Daniel according to Jesus is still a future event. Which event will be marked in the middle of it by the European leader that shall arise, coming to Jerusalem, and standing in the holy of holies of the rebuilt temple and declaring that he is God, and demanding that he be worshipped as God. Now, the appointed time of God upon the nation Israel, when God will once again pour out His Spirit upon her. And as is declared, "The heathen shall reverence the name of the Lord and all of the kings of the earth, thy glory."

It would seem that this is a reference to that time, I feel, in the very near future, when Russia invades Israel and is destroyed by the power of God. In the thirty-eighth chapter of Ezekiel where the Lord records this momentous event, in verse Psalms 102:23 , God said, "Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself. And I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am Jehovah." So if you put that together with the fifteenth verse, "So the heathen shall reverence the name of Jehovah, and the kings of the earth, thy glory."

Now that is referred to as a relationship to God's set time to show favor upon Israel. And so if you will then go over to the thirty-ninth chapter of Ezekiel, verse Psalms 102:27 , "When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations." Now put that together with verse Psalms 102:23 of chapter 38, "I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself and be known in the eyes of many nations. When I've gathered them out of their enemies' lands and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations, then shall they know that I am Jehovah their God, which cause them to be led into captivity among the heathen. But I have gathered them into their own land and have left none of them anymore there, neither will I hide my face anymore from them, for I have poured out My Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith Jehovah God." So the Lord has promised... or, "saith the Lord God," not Jehovah God there.

So God has promised that in the day in which He is sanctified before in them in the eyes of the heathen, or the nations of the world, that in that day, He is going to remove the blindness. "I will no longer be hid." Now Paul tells us that blindness has happened to Israel during this period of the Gentiles. Blindness has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. But this national blindness that is taken, that God has placed upon Israel, will be removed. He'll no longer be hid from them. He will pour out His Spirit upon them. Which means that God will then have taken His church out of the earth's scene. So we are talking about God's set time for the nation of Israel. The time to favor her.

For [the psalm says,] Thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favor the dust thereof ( Psalms 102:14 ).

We received a letter from our guide in Israel who was planning to come over and visit us this summer. And he said, "Dear Chuck and Kay, I write to you and trust that everything is well with you, and all. I want you to know that I won't be coming over this summer because the Lord has given to us the blessed privilege of buying property in this beautiful, holy city. The city that God has set His eye upon. The city that is blessed of the Lord. And we are going to build a home in this beautiful city of God." And, oh, he goes on, raving about the dust and the stones of the city of Jerusalem. He is so excited that he is going to have a house of his own right in Jerusalem. "Surely the people do favor the stones and even the dust thereof. For thy servants take pleasure in the stones."

For the heathen shall reverence the name of the LORD [or Jehovah], and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory ( Psalms 102:15-16 ).

Now, God is going to work for another seven-year cycle with the nation Israel. It will be God's primary work upon the earth during this final seven-year cycle. It will be a time in the scripture that is known as the time of Jacob's trouble, Jacob travailing. It will be a time of religious confusion. For at the beginning, the antichrist will make a covenant with the nation Israel. Many of their leaders will declare that he is the Messiah, and he will be acclaimed generally as their Messiah. However, there will be a couple of witnesses of God that will be telling them the truth and warning them against him. There will be those that are sealed of God, and they also will be bearing witness against him. But the religious leaders will be acclaiming him. The religious leaders who crucified our Lord and are still holding the people in blindness will be deceived and will be acclaiming this man as Messiah.

But after three and a half years, when the temple is rebuilt, and they are again worshipping, when he comes and stands in the temple, in the holy of holies, and declares that he is God and demands to be worshipped as God, then they will all realize their error. They will flee to the wilderness, a place that God has prepared for them. During the final 1,290-day period, which 1,290 days will be a time of great trouble, the Great Tribulation. A time of God's wrath, a time of greater bloodshed and horror than the world has ever seen at any time in its history. People are saying, "Good days are ahead, you know. We've got a new administration." Don't believe it. The worst is yet to come. Evil days, the scripture says, are going to wax worse and worse.

I would like to think that a change of administration is going to change the whole complexion of our society, but I cannot believe that from a scriptural standpoint. Like the nation Israel, there may be moments of sort of a national revival and a turning to God and a forestalling, but we are generally going downhill so rapidly that there is nothing that can stop our decline short of a miracle of God, which I do not anticipate. Because I believe we are out at the end of the line, and I think that we are plunging into that abyss of which God spoke. As far as world history is concerned.

But immediately after the tribulation of those days, shall they see the sign of the Son of man coming with clouds and great glory. Even as we read, "When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory." He appeared the first time in shame and humiliation to take upon Himself the sins of mankind and to die an ignominious death upon the cross. To be despised and rejected, smitten, pierced, scourged, bruised, crucified. But He is coming again, in power and in glory, to reign over the earth in righteousness, in peace, from henceforth, even forever.

And so God has set the time and when the Lord shall build up Zion. We know that the time is coming for Him to appear in His glory. The nation Israel has been restored. God kept His promise. He gathered the people that were scattered throughout all the world and He placed them again in the land, and they have their government, they have the possession of Jerusalem. And now we are just waiting for the final sequence of events. At this moment, we are waiting for Russia to attack the Middle East and Israel, which is going to be the key event triggering the final sequence of events. That will lead the church out of this mess.

God will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. For this shall be written for the generation to come ( Psalms 102:17 , Psalms 102:18 ):

In other words, the psalmist says, "I am not writing this for you people; I am writing this for a generation that is going to come." Our generation. The generation that sees the Lord building up Zion. It is just like when Daniel was writing of the same events, this final seven-year period when God was working again in Israel having removed the blindness, and now working again. Daniel said, "How long, O Lord, until the end of these things?" And the Lord said, "Seal up all of these things up in a book, Daniel. And in the last days, knowledge will be increased." In other words, Daniel, you don't understand it. Daniel was crying for understanding, and the Lord said, "You aren't going to understand it, Daniel. Just seal it up in a book. But in the last days knowledge will be increased." And God will give the understanding of these things. And as we read the book of Daniel now, we see how God has opened up the book of Daniel, and how clear it is now as we have the advantage of history. We can see now, and understand now the things of which Daniel was writing, things that he didn't understand himself. And so this is written for the generation to come. It's for their benefit, for our benefit. We are that generation.

and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD ( Psalms 102:18 ).

So that's declared of us, and thus we need to keep the Word of God by praising the Lord.

For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; To declare the name of Jehovah in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD. He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days. I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations. Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old, like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed ( Psalms 102:19-26 ):

Now this is interesting, as he speaks of the earth and the heavens. God laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of His hands. And they are going to perish, the psalmist said. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away. My word," He said, "shall never pass away" ( Matthew 24:35 ). Peter describes how they are going to pass away. As the elements are dissolved and melt with a fervent heat. And there comes forth the new heaven and a new earth. There will be change, the new heaven and the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. So they shall perish.

It is interesting that the psalmist here actually recognizes the first and second law of thermodynamics, which the evolutionists try to almost deny in propounding a theory that requires just the opposite affect of the laws of entropy as we know them to exist. The psalmist recognizes that the earth is growing old. "They shall wax old like a garment." As Sir Herschel Gene said, "The universe is like a giant clock that was wound up and is slowly running down." Again, describing the affects of the first and second laws of thermodynamics. The slow winding down. Waxing old like a garment. As a vesture, as a coat, you're gonna change. And like a man changes his coat. God is going to change the earth, and the heavens. And they shall be changed. But, in contrast to the universe, which is waxing old, which is winding down, in contrast to that,

But thou art the same and thy years have no end. The children of thy servants shall continue and their seed shall be established before thee ( Psalms 102:27-28 ).

And so, though the earth is waxing old, the universe is growing old, yet God never changes. Though the universe will be changed like a garment, the Lord is the same. We remember in Hebrews, and no doubt a reference to this, "Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today and forever, Thou art the same." God said, "Behold, I am the Lord God. I change not." The immutability of God. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 102". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/psalms-102.html. 2014.
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