Psalm 102 (I)

1650 psalter

Messiah’s complaint and comforts in the days of His humiliation

As regards this psalm, who and when are unanswerable. There must have been a certain occasion, and yet it can have relevance to all stages of the church’s history. But there seems good grounds to understand it as spoken concerning the times of Christ. In Hebrews 1:10, there is a reference to vv. 25-27, which guides us to accept that reference. 

Affliction lies heavy on the writer, as it did on Christ. There is a cry of being overwhelmed, and the anguish of loneliness and fears. But there is a positive assurance that God was not unmindful of the experience, nor of the state of the church, and He would arise. 

God looks down from Heaven, and comes down from Heaven to rescue His people. Time and time again His glory has appeared in Zion, and His favour has renewed the church and delivered them from their weakness. These consolations are “written for the generation to come.” Let us believe then, it is still possible.

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: Consolation


Psalm 102 – First Version (Common metre)

¹O LORD, unto my pray’r give ear,
My cry let come to thee;
²And in the day of my distress
Hide not thy face from me.

Give ear to me; what time I call,
To answer me make haste:
³For, as an hearth, my bones are burnt,
My days, like smoke, do waste.

⁴My heart within me smitten is,
And it is withered
Like very grass; so that I do
Forget to eat my bread.

⁵By reason of my groaning voice
My bones cleave to my skin.
⁶Like pelican in wilderness
Forsaken I have been:

I like an owl in desert am,
That nightly there doth moan;
⁷I watch, and like a sparrow am
On the house–top alone.

⁸My bitter en’mies all the day
Reproaches cast on me;
And, being mad at me, with rage
Against me sworn they be.

⁹For why? I ashes eaten have
Like bread, in sorrows deep;
My drink I also mingled have
With tears that I did weep.

¹⁰Thy wrath and indignation
Did cause this grief and pain;
For thou hast lift me up on high,
And cast me down again.

¹¹My days are like unto a shade,
Which doth declining pass;
And I am dried and withered,
Ev’n like unto the grass.

¹²But thou, LORD, everlasting art,
And thy remembrance shall
Continually endure, and be
To generations all.

¹³Thou shalt arise, and mercy have
Upon thy Zion yet;
The time to favour her is come,
The time that thou hast set.

¹⁴For in her rubbish and her stones
Thy servants pleasure take;
Yea, they the very dust thereof
Do favour for her sake.

¹⁵So shall the heathen people fear
The LORD’s most holy name;
And all the kings on earth shall dread
Thy glory and thy fame.

¹⁶When Zion by the mighty LORD
Built up again shall be,
In glory then and majesty
To men appear shall he.

¹⁷The prayer of the destitute
He surely will regard;
Their prayer will he not despise,
By him it shall be heard.

¹⁸For generations yet to come
This shall be on record:
So shall the people that shall be
Created praise the LORD.

¹⁹He from his sanctuary’s height
Hath downward cast his eye;
And from his glorious throne in heav’n
The LORD the earth did spy;

²⁰That of the mournful prisoner
The groanings he might hear,
To set them free that unto death
By men appointed are:

²¹That they in Zion may declare
The LORD’s most holy name,
And publish in Jerusalem
The praises of the same;

²²When as the people gather shall
In troops with one accord,
When kingdoms shall assembled be
To serve the highest LORD.

²³My wonted strength and force he hath
Abated in the way,
And he my days hath shortened:
²⁴Thus therefore did I say,

My God, in mid–time of my days
Take thou me not away:
From age to age eternally
Thy years endure and stay.

²⁵The firm foundation of the earth
Of old time thou hast laid;
The heavens also are the work
Which thine own hands have made.

²⁶Thou shalt for evermore endure,
But they shall perish all;
Yea, ev’ry one of them wax old,
Like to a garment, shall:

Thou, as a vesture, shalt them change,
And they shall changed be:
²⁷But thou the same art, and thy years
Are to eternity.

²⁸The children of thy servants shall
Continually endure;
And in thy sight, O Lord, their seed
Shall be establish’d sure.