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Psalm One Hundred and Two

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD.

Prayer of the afflicted. The title affixed to this psalm indicates it to be the prayer of the “afflicted one.” Since it is applied to Christ in Hebrews, it is essentially a Messianic psalm, and the “afflicted one” is our suffering Savior, who is also called “the afflicted” in the Messianic Psalm 22:24).

Psalm 102:1 Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee.

Psalm 102:2 Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.

Psalm 102:3 For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.

Psalm 102:4 My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.

Psalm 102:5 By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin.

Psalm 102:6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.

like a pelican. The afflicted one here compares his situation to that of three birds that inhabited the wilderness, and were considered of little worth in ancient Israel—the pelican, the little owl and the sparrow.

Psalm 102:7 I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.

Psalm 102:8 Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me.

Psalm 102:9 For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping,

Psalm 102:10 Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down.

Psalm 102:11 My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.

Psalm 102:12 But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.

Psalm 102:13 Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.

the time to favour her. When Messiah came to Zion, it was indeed the time anticipated by the prophets for God to favor her. When Zion rejected Messiah, however, a time of severe judgment ensued, when her most beautiful “stones” (Psalm 102:14) would be “thrown down” (Matthew 24:2). However, there is also a future time set by God when He will yet “choose Jerusalem again” (Zechariah 2:12).

Psalm 102:14 For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.

Psalm 102:15 So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.

Psalm 102:16 When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.

Psalm 102:17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.

Psalm 102:18 This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.

shall be created. The people mentioned are the redeemed nation of Israel (note Psalm 102:16). The verb “create” always has God as the subject, either implicit or explicit, for only He can create. The instantaneous rebirth of the nation of God when they recognize their returning Messiah (Zechariah 12:10; Romans 11:26) will be altogether miraculous.

Psalm 102:19 For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth;

Psalm 102:20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death;

Psalm 102:21 To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem;

Psalm 102:22 When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.

Psalm 102:23 He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days.

Psalm 102:24 I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.

Psalm 102:25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.

work of thy hands. Psalm 102:25-27 is quoted in Hebrews 1:10-12 and addressed to the Lord Jesus Christ as Creator of heaven and earth. This confirms that the earlier verses of the psalm are especially applicable to the humiliation and suffering of Christ (Psalm 102:1-11).

Psalm 102:26 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:

wax old like a garment. The aging of the earth and heaven is a relatively recent discovery of science, which is the universal principle of increasing entropy or decay. This remarkable fact—that every system of any sort or size tends to disintegrate with time—is now recognized as the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and has no known exception. It reflects God's primeval Curse on the creation because of sin (Genesis 3:15-17; Romans 8:20-22).

Psalm 102:27 But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.

thou art the same. There is, of course, one exception to this law of decay. The God who imposed the law on His creation is not subject to the law Himself. Neither is His Word, for Jesus said: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

Psalm 102:28 The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.