Psalm 102

A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before the LORD.
1 Hear my prayer, LORD! Let my cry come to you. 2 Don’t hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Turn your ear to me. Answer me quickly in the day when I call. 3 For my days consume away like smoke. My bones are burnt as a torch. 4 My heart is blighted like grass, and withered, for I forget to eat my bread. 5 By reason of the voice of my groaning, my bones stick to my skin. 6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness. I have become as an owl of the waste places. 7 I watch, and have become like a sparrow that is alone on the housetop. 8 My enemies reproach me all day. Those who are mad at me use my name as a curse. 9 For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mixed my drink with tears, 10 because of your indignation and your wrath, for you have taken me up, and thrown me away. 11 My days are like a long shadow. I have withered like grass. 12 But you, LORD, will remain forever; your renown endures to all generations. 13 You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for it is time to have pity on her. Yes, the set time has come. 14 For your servants take pleasure in her stones, and have pity on her dust. 15 So the nations will fear the LORD’s name; all the kings of the earth your glory. 16 For the LORD has built up Zion. He has appeared in his glory. 17 He has responded to the prayer of the destitute, and has not despised their prayer. 18 This will be written for the generation to come. A people which will be created will praise the LORD. 19 For he has looked down from the height of his sanctuary. From heaven, the LORD saw the earth; 20 to hear the groans of the prisoner; to free those who are condemned to death; 21 that men may declare the LORD’s name in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; 22 when the peoples are gathered together, the kingdoms, to serve the LORD. 23 He weakened my strength along the course. He shortened my days. 24 I said, “My God, don’t take me away in the middle of my days. Your years are throughout all generations. 25 Of old, you laid the foundation of the earth. The heavens are the work of your hands. 26 They will perish, but you will endure. Yes, all of them will wear out like a garment. You will change them like a cloak, and they will be changed. 27 But you are the same. Your years will have no end. 28 The children of your servants will continue. Their offspring will be established before you.”

(Previous Chapter)    •    (Next Chapter)

Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–11

The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; but here, is often elsewhere, the Holy Ghost has put words into our mouths. Here is a prayer put into the hands of the afflicted; let them present it to God. Even good men may be almost overwhelmed with afflictions. It is our duty and interest to pray; and it is comfort to an afflicted spirit to unburden itself, by a humble representation of its griefs. We must say, Blessed be the name of the Lord, who both gives and takes away. The psalmist looked upon himself as a dying man; My days are like a shadow.

Verses 12–22

We are dying creatures, but God is an everlasting God, the protector of his church; we may be confident that it will not be neglected. When we consider our own vileness, our darkness and deadness, and the manifold defects in our prayers, we have cause to fear that they will not be received in heaven; but we are here assured of the contrary, for we have an Advocate with the Father, and are under grace, not under the law. Redemption is the subject of praise in the Christian church; and that great work is described by the temporal deliverance and restoration of Israel. Look down upon us, Lord Jesus; and bring us into the glorious liberty of thy children, that we may bless and praise thy name.

Verses 23–28

Bodily distempers soon weaken our strength, then what can we expect but that our months should be cut off in the midst; and what should we do but provide accordingly? We must own God’s hand in it; and must reconcile this to his love, for often those that have used their strength well, have it weakened; and those who, as we think, can very ill be spared, have their days shortened. It is very comfortable, in reference to all the changes and dangers of the church, to remember that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. And in reference to the death of our bodies, and the removal of friends, to remember that God is an everlasting God. Do not let us overlook the assurance this psalm contains of a happy end to all the believer’s trials. Though all things are changing, dying, perishing, like a vesture folding up and hastening to decay, yet Jesus lives, and thus all is secure, for he hath said, Because I live ye shall live also.

Back to Top