You laid the foundation of the earth.
The heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish.
But you will endure.
They will all wear out like a garment.
You change them like clothing.
They pass away.
But you are the same.
Your years have no end.
The children of your servants
Shall live secure.
Their offspring shall be established
In your presence.”
This psalm ends with a tribute to the eternal Yahweh, who had laid the foundation for the earth. He has made both heaven and earth, which will both pass away just like the changing of clothes. However, Yahweh would not pass away. He would be the same since his years have no end. Their offspring and children would be established in the presence of eternal Yahweh.
“He has broken my strength in mid-course.
He has shortened my days.
‘O my God!’
‘Do not take me away,
At the midpoint of my life!
Your years endure
Throughout all generations!”
The psalmist claims that his strength has been broken in mid-life. His days have been shortened. He asked God not to take away his life that was only half lived. He wanted his years to endure just as God has endured from generation to generation.
“Let this be recorded for a generation to come.
Thus a people yet unborn may praise Yahweh.
He looked down from his holy height.
Yahweh looked at the earth.
He heard the groans of the prisoners.
He set free those who were doomed to die.
Thus the name of Yahweh may be declared in Zion.
His praise may be declared in Jerusalem.
Peoples will gather together to worship Yahweh.
Kingdoms will worship Yahweh.”
This was to be recorded for posterity so that future generations would praise Yahweh. He looked down from heaven, his holy high place, on earth. He heard the groans of the prisoners and those doomed to die. He wanted the name of Yahweh declared on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem. Various people and kingdoms will gather in the future to worship Yahweh.
You are enthroned forever.
Your name endures to all generations.
You wilt rise up.
You will have compassion on Zion.
It is time to favor it.
The appointed time has come.
Your servants hold its stones dear.
Have pity on its dust.
The nations will fear the name of Yahweh.
All the kings of the earth fear your glory.
Yahweh will build up Zion.
He will appear in his glory.
He will regard the prayer of the destitute.
He will not despise their prayer.”
There is this beautiful hymn to Yahweh, who is enthroned as king forever. His name will endure through all generations. He will rise up and have compassion on Zion, his holy city and temple. The appointed time has come. His servants hold its stones holy. Yahweh should have pity on its dust. All the countries and kings would fear the name and glory of Yahweh. Yahweh would rebuild Zion and appear in all his glory. He has regard for the prayer of the destitute and will not despise their prayers.
“My days pass away like smoke.
My bones burn like a furnace.
My heart is stricken.
My heart is withered like grass.
I am too wasted to eat my bread.
Because of my loud groaning
My bones cling to my flesh.
I am like an owl of the wilderness.
I am like a little owl of the waste places.
I lie awake.
I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
All day long my enemies taunt me.
Those who deride me
Use my name for a curse.
I eat ashes like bread.
I mingle tears with my drink.
Because of your indignation and anger,
You have lifted me up,
You have thrown me aside.
My days are like an evening shadow.
I wither away like grass.”
This psalmist is in a terrible situation. His days are passing away like smoke. His bones are burning. His heart is broken and withering like grass. He cannot even eat. His bones are clinging to his skin since he is all skin and bones. He is like an owl or a lonely bird since he cannot sleep. His enemies taunt him every day as they use his name as a curse word. He eats ashes instead of bread. He drinks his own tears. Yahweh seems to be angry and indignant as he has been thrown aside. His days are like evening shadows and withering grass. He is in over all bad shape.
A prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before Yahweh
“Hear my prayer!
Let my cry come to you!
Do not hide your face from me
In the day of my distress!
Incline your ear to me!
Answer me speedily
In the day when I call!”
Psalm 102 is rather long compared to the preceding psalms with a long descriptive title. This prayer of the afflicted person wishes to pour out his complaint before Yahweh. There is nothing about David here. This psalmist wants Yahweh to hear his prayers, plain and simple. He wanted his cry to come to the ear of Yahweh and before his face. In the day of his distress and the day when he called, he wanted a speedy answer from Yahweh. He is almost demanding.