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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 102

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-28

Psalms 102

Lonely and Afflicted

This psalm was written by David in an hour of national distress. He offers complaints with mourning against God. It seems to refer not only to David’s sufferings and afflictions but also to those of Jesus Christ.

Scripture v. 1-28:

Verses 1, 2 appeal to the Lord to "hurry up," and hear his distress cry, and came and rescue him from his trouble, answering him, "speedily," turning not away when he cried to Him, Psalms 27:9; Psalms 69:17. He had heard Israel’s cry, come to her rescue in Egypt, Exodus 2:23. David desired the same for himself; and so did Jesus on Calvary, Psalms 18:6; Psalms 101:2; Psalms 1:2.

Verses 3-5 describe David’s affliction as "consumed into smoke," like the lot of the wicked, James 4:14; Psalms 37:20; Psalms 68:2; He adds, "my bones are burned as an hearth," with raging pain, within the frame of his body and soul, Leviticus 6:9; Jeremiah 20:9; La 1:13; 3:4. Verse 4 laments that his heart (seat of affections) was "smitten and withered like grass," under the blast of a desert sun, so that he forgot to eat his food, Psalms 104:15; Psalms 107:18; 1 Samuel 1:7; 1 Samuel 20:34.
Verse 5 declares that so severe was his pain and groaning that his bones did "cleave to his skin," or flesh; weakened and emaciated, Psalms 22:17.

Verses 6, 7 add that he had become like: a) a "pelican of the wilderness," in misery of loneliness, Isaiah 34:11; b) an "owl of the desert,’ lonely, surrounded by enemies without a friend to save him and though he watched, waited, longed for an helping hand, he was like, c) a "sparrow alone upon the house top," having lost its mate, its young, or its flock, sitting plaintive on the top of the roof, Psalms 38:11.

Verses 8, 9 lament that David’s enemies against his person and his throne reproached him, were mad against him, and were sworn persecutors and adversaries all the day, Psalms 42:10; Acts 26:11; Luke 6:11. In this state, he was , a foreshadow of the Messiah, who would be hated, "without a cause." He added that he had eaten ashes like bread and mingled his drink with running tears of remorse, as he lay in ashes of mourning, a poetic expression, Job 2:8; 2 Samuel 13:19; Psalms 42:3; Psalms 70:5.

Verse 10 attributes this state of affliction and mourning to the indignation of God’s wrath against David, as he asserted "thou hast lifted me up (exalted me) and cast me down," in humiliation, much as a storm lifts an object and crashes it to the ground, Job 27:21; Isaiah 22:17-18; Psalms 30:7; Psalms 73:18. As also declared of God, Daniel 5:18-30; 2 Corinthians 4:9.

Verse 11 adds "my days (of life) are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass," both of which soon pass away, Psalms 109:23; Psalms 144:4. Both David’s life and kingdom seemed about to be destroyed, James 1:10.

Verses 12-14 prophesy with hope, "but thou, O Lord, shalt endure forever, and thy remembrance to all generations. Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion," because the "set time is come," to preserve her, 1 Timothy 6:16; Psalms 135:13; See also Psalms 40:2; Daniel 9:2; Daniel 12:9; Galatians 4:4.
Verse 14 reasons "for thy servants take pleasure in her stones (of Zion) and favor the dust thereof," Psalms 40:2; Psalms 79:1. Israel yearns for Zion, even in her dispersion, Nehemiah 4:2; Isaiah 66:10; Daniel 9:2.

Verse 15 declares that the heathen shall come to "fear the name (honor) of the Lord (Jehovah)," and all the kings of the earth shall fear His glory, as they behold His judgments upon the wicked, 1Ki 8; 43; and as he restores His people in Zion, Psalms 78:29-32; Isaiah 59:19-20.

Verses 16, 17 add that "when the Lord shall build up (restore) Zion, He shall appear in His glory," in His personal, physical, bodily manifestation, Acts 1:10-11; Genesis 48:3; Exodus 3:16; Leviticus 9:4; Titus 2:13; Isaiah 60:1.
Verse 17 continues "He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise (take lightly) their prayer," even as shown Nehemiah 1:6; Nehemiah 1:11; Nehemiah 2:8; Jeremiah 29:11-14; Daniel 9:3-21; Psalms 22:5; Psalms 69:33.

Verse 18 prophesies that "this shall be written (recorded) for the generation to come. And the people which shall be created (regenerated) shall praise the Lord," in the day of Israel’s regeneration, as further set forth Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11; Psalms 22:31; Isaiah 43:21. See also Exodus 17:14; Deuteronomy 31:10; Deuteronomy 31:21; Ezekiel the 37th. ch.

Verses 19-21 assert that the Lord has "looked down" from the height of His sanctuary, in heaven, and beheld the earth: "to hear (heed) the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death, to declare the name (honor) of the Lord in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem." This He did in Christ, at His first advent, bringing personal redemption, Luke 4:16-21, and will effect for all Israel, when He comes again, to fulfill His unconditional covenant with her, in David, Psalms 14:2; Psalms 79:11; Deuteronomy 26:15; Isaiah 63:15; Zechariah 2:13; Psalms 18:16; Psalms 33:13; Exodus 12:23-25; Exodus 26:7.

Verse 22 declares such will be when the people and the kingdoms are assembled in affinity, to serve the Lord, as "King of kings and Lord of lords," Hosea 1:11; Hosea 3:5; Revelation 11:15; Revelation 19:11-16; Luke 1:32-33; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26.

Verses 23, 24 witness that the Lord afflicted (weakened) David and shortened his days. Yet he prayed to God to spare him, take him not away in the midst of his days, like smoke when his life expectancy was half spent, in contrast with God’s existence Through all generations, Psalms 90:2; Habakkuk 1:12; Revelation 1:1; Revelation 1:8; See also Genesis 19:28; Jeremiah 48:15.

Verse 25 declares that "of old", God who laid the foundation of the earth, existed; and that "the heavens are (exist as) the work of thy hands," as products of His will and actions, Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3; See too Genesis 2:1; Jeremiah 32:17; Hebrews 1:10. Things made or created had an antecedent maker or creator. That one is the living God, Acts 17:28.

Verse 26 asserts that "they," the heavens and the earth, "shall perish," but God shall endure or stand, continue. It is added that all of the things of the earth, like decaying garments, "shall wax old," and like a vesture they shall be changed, replaced by the Lord, with something new, something better, even the new heaven and new earth, Isaiah 66:22; Romans 8:20; Malachi 1:11; Revelation 21:6; Isaiah 34:4; Isaiah 51:6; Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22.

Verse 27 certifies that, in contrast with brevity of man’s life, and the passing of all earthly things, God is eternal, endures to restore, redeem, and sustain all things according to the purpose of His will, in Christ, the Messiah, Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17. See too Hebrews 1:12; Deuteronomy 32:39. His years (time) has no end, no cessation, Isaiah 43:10. He is imperishable, undying.

Verse 28 concludes that the children (redeemed) of his ser­vants shall continue (forever) in national Israel and the church, and their seed shall be established forever. Such is certified concerning only; 1) Covenant Israel, Luke 1:32-33; Luke , 2) the church, as institutions of Divine service and worship, into the ages of the ages, Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 3:21.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Psalms 102". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/psalms-102.html. 1985.
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