Read: Psalm 102:1 – 2; Romans 8:26, 34; Hebrews 7:25; Ephesians 2:18, 3:12
Psalm 102 begins with a cry for God to hear and answer prayer– speedily. Why ask God to hear our prayer? At least fifteen times in the Psalms, God is requested to hear our prayers. Similar requests are made many times elsewhere in the Old Testament, but not once in the New Testament is there such a request.
Think About It: Based on the New Testament references for today, why do we no longer have to ask God to hear our prayers? What is my attitude when I came before God in prayer? Why can I be confident He will listen to me?
Prayer: Come boldly before God’s throne of grace.
Read: Psalm 102:3, 11, 12, 20, 25 – 28; Psalm 90:10; Genesis 47:9; John 3:16
Psalm 102 verses 3 and 11 indicate that one major cause of affliction is the brevity of life. The relatively short span of our lives are filled with pain and darkness. Our hope is found in the fact that God endures forever. We long for permanence; we find it in God, and in God alone. But there is more: “the children of Thy servants shall continue” (v. 19). God establishes His children.
Think About It: Why is “smoke” a good image of the brevity of life? How old was Jacob when he said his days were few and painful? How has God shared His eternal life with us?
Prayer: Thank God for the gift of eternal life through faith in Christ.
Read: Psalm 102:4-5, 13- 16; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:51 – 52; Titus 2:13
In Psalm 102 verses four and five another cause of affliction is identified as dejection of spirit. The Hebrew title for this Psalm is “the prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed.” The reasons for being overwhelmed are many, but whatever the reasons the result is the same: dejection and depression. The reason for hope in spite of this affliction is given in verses 13 -16.
Think About It: How is dejection of spirit described in Psalm 102:4 – 5? Have I ever felt like this? Why can I feel hopeful in spite of the many possible reasons for dejection, according to Psalm 102:13 – 16? How do I know that God has set a time for the deliverance of His people?
Prayer: Even so, come Lord Jesus.
Read: Psalm 102:6 – 7; 22; Ephesians 2:11 – 22
In Psalm 102:6 – 7 another cause of affliction is loneliness, pictured by the pelican of the wilderness, the owl of the desert, and the sparrow alone on the housetop. The pelican, which was to become a traditional Christian symbol of Christ, may be thought of as picturing the loneliness of rejection. The owl of the desert pictures the loneliness of solitude. The sparrow, which is rarely seen alone, pictures the loneliness of the weak and vulnerable in the midst of the crowd. The reason we have for hope in spite of the affliction of loneliness is Psalm 102:22 – God gathers together a people to serve Him. Our destiny is to be in community with God’s people.
Think About It: How have I experienced loneliness? How does Ephesians 2:11 – 22 help explain how Christ helps us overcome the affliction of loneliness?
Prayer: Thank God that I am part of His family.
Read: Psalm 102:8; 14, 16; Psalm 30:5, 11; Acts 23:12 – 14; Romans 14:11
According to Psalm 102:8, the reproach of enemies is another source of the psalmist’s affliction. The reason for hope in spite of this affliction is found in Psalm 102:15 – the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord. However bad things may get for God’s people, they can be encouraged; their enemies will bow the knee to God.
Think About It: Moses, David, Jeremiah, Daniel, Paul and Jesus all had enemies who plotted to kill them. Who are my enemies? Am I praying for my enemies to bow the knee to God?
Prayer: For my enemies.
Read: Psalm 102:9, 14, 16. Psalm 30:5, 11; Revelation 21:4
Another affliction the psalmist suffered is described in Psalm 102:9 – humiliating circumstances. Not only did the psalmist have enemies, but they had gained the upper hand. The psalmist ate ashes and mingled tears with his drink. The reason for hope in spite of this affliction is found in Psalm 102 verses 14 and 16: the Lord will build up Zion, and His people will take pleasure in her stones, even in her dust.
Think About It: How have I experienced humiliation? Have I ever experienced anything like Psalm 30:5 and 11? What is God’s promise to me for eternity according Revelation 21:4?
Prayer: Thank God for the promise of eternal glory.
Read: Psalm 102:10, 23 – 24, 17; Matthew 5:3; 1 John 1:9 – 10; 2 Corinthians 5:17
The most terrible source of affliction in Psalm 102 is mentioned in verses 10, 23, and 24: God’s discipline. The psalmist did not blame all of his problems on others; God’s discipline came as a result of his own wrongdoing. His hope, expressed in 102:17, was that God hears the prayer of the destitute and does not despise it. A further source of hope is found in 102:18: “And the people which shall be created” – an allusion to God’s power to renew.
Think About It: What does it mean to be “poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3)? Do I trust God to forgive me? Am I a new creation in Christ?
Prayer: For forgiveness and spiritual renewal.