Tuesday, September 19, 2023

2023.09.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 102:12–17

Read Psalm 102:12–17

Questions from the Scripture text: Whom does the Psalmist now compare to his own brevity (Psalm 102:12a)? How does He compare? What else is this long (verse 12b)? What will He yet do (Psalm 102:13a)? To whom? When (verse 13b–c)? Who else favors her (Psalm 102:14)? To what extent? Whom will the Lord’s love for Zion bring, to do what (Psalm 102:15)? What will the Lord build up (Psalm 102:16a) to show what (verse 16b)? In response to what does the Lord do this building (Psalm 102:17)?

How does the eternal and glorious Lord respond to the low condition of His people? Psalm 102:12–17 looks forward to the opening portion of morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these six verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the Lord invests the glory of His Name in rebuilding His church.

Psalm 102:1–11 overflowed with grief and agony. Now we begin to learn what has him so distraught: the condition of Zion. Zion is need of compassion (Psalm 102:13a) and rebuilding (Psalm 102:16a). This section of the Psalm gives us a window into how grace provokes believers to respond when the church is in a low condition.

Eternally minded compassionPsalm 102:12-14. In Psalm 102:11, the Psalmist had cried out about the brevity of his life, but then turns in Psalm 102:12 to compare this to the eternality of God’s existence and praise. Because we are like grass, and the shadows lengthen quickly in the evening of our life, we learn our priorities from Him. Since He favors Zion (Psalm 102:13b), His servants also favor her (Psalm 102:14b).

God has compassion upon His people. “Zion” as a city may be made of stones and dust, but the eternal and uncreated Lord has compassion upon her (translated “mercy” in Psalm 102:13a of NKJ). She may exist in time, but He therefore has set a time for His compassion to be satisfied by showing her mercy. Believers follow Him in fostering deep affection for His church.

Worldwide desire for gloryPsalm 102:15-16. How has the Lord chosen to display Himself in His glory (Psalm 102:16b)? By (re)building Zion (verse 16b). This is how He shows His glory to the nations (Psalm 102:15a) and all the kings of the earth (verse 15b). Those who love His glory desire that the whole world would see that glory and reverence it. This is a second reason for believers to long for the revival of the church: not just compassion for the church herself but desire for the glory of the Lord of the church.

Do we love His glory? Well, it is His pleasure to be glorified in the building up of His church. So, let us give her our labors and prayers—desiring that the Lord would reform and revive her, and that she would grow in number, in strength, and in purity as she continues to cover the earth.

Prayer that lays hold of God’s characterPsalm 102:17. God is glorified not just by doing His church good, but by the fact that He does so in response to their prayers. He is the omnipresent God Who can hear in every place and even hears and knows the prayers of His people’s hearts. He is the omniscient God Who knows exactly what to do for His people in response to any prayer. He is the omnipotent God Who is able to do all that His wisdom knows to do in answer to prayer. He is the God of all goodness, Who responds to His people’s prayers in infinite love.

God is much glorified in our praying to Him and in His answering us. And He has ordained to fulfill His good plans for the church in response to our prayers. Let us, therefore pray, pray, pray! And especially, let us pray for the growth and good of His church!

What are your feelings about the church of the Lord Jesus Christ? How should they improve? Who can help you with this? When/how have you been praying for reformation and revival in the church?

Sample prayer: Lord, You endure forever, and the praise of Your Name to all generations. It is by Your merciful and powerful building of Your church that You glorify Yourself before all nations of the earth. So, help us by Your Spirit as we call upon Your Name, and hear us and answer unto Your glory in Christ, through Whom we ask it, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP102B“My Days Like Evening’s Shade” or TPH102A “LORD, Hear My Prayer for Aid”

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