Tuesday, October 03, 2023

2023.10.03 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 102:18–28

Read Psalm 102:18–28

Questions from the Scripture text: For whom will this Psalm be written (Psalm 102:18)? To what does YHWH pay attention (Psalm 102:19-20)? What does He plan to do about that groaning (Psalm 102:21)? By bringing about what (Psalm 102:22)? But what is presently happening, in the meantime to the Psalmist (Psalm 102:23, cf. Psalm 102:11)? And what comparison is he making in prayer (Psalm 102:24)? What else is short-lived by comparison to YHWH (Psalm 102:25-27, cf. Hebrews 1:10–12)? Therefore, who else must continue and be established (Psalm 102:28)?

What is God’s purpose in delivering this psalmist? Psalm 102:18–28 looks forward to the opening portion of morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these eleven verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that God’s purpose in delivering this psalmist was to give a song of praise to the God Who answers prayer so that future generations might be sure of the same hearing from the same God.  

Back in Psalm 102:12-13, the psalmist concluded, on the basis of God’s eternal character, that He had already set the time for favoring His people.

But the psalmist’s generation would not be the only one in which the reproach of the church would case great grief to those whose eyes were godly enough to see it (Psalm 102:1-11). 

So, now, the psalmist declares the loving work of the Holy Spirit to cause this Psalm to be written for later generations of believers (Psalm 102:18a). When they come upon similar days, now they too will be able to praise YHWH in the midst of it (verse 18b).  And they too will know that He brings in set times of restoration in response to our prayers (cf. Psalm 102:17). 

The Psalm had begun by asking the Lord to hear and see (Psalm 102:1-2), and now future generations will know that this is exactly what the Lord has done (Psalm 102:19-20). Future generations will also need to know that the times of YHWH’s mercy to His church are set and sure, and that He brings them about in response to our prayers.

How do future generations hear this? The Lord is recording this to be sung as praise to His Name in the gatherings of His people for worship (Psalm 102:21-22). This will be newly and freshly fulfilled the next time you sing this Psalm with the church in Lord’s Day worship. 

And when we praise the Lord with this Psalm in worship, we praise the Lord for hearing the prayer from back in Psalm 102:11-12. The psalmist’s life was almost gone (Psalm 102:11Psalm 102:23), but he cried out to the eternal God (Psalm 102:12Psalm 102:24-27), and God’s eternality assured of His people’s eventual and eternal blessing (Psalm 102:13Psalm 102:16Psalm 102:28).

Hebrews 1:10–12 quotes Psalm 102:25-27 to identify Jesus as the eternal YHWH. His eternality and eternal glory guarantee His people’s eternal blessedness. If we are united to Him, then our low estate must come to an end. We shall be glorious with Him forever (Psalm 102:28a). Even our offspring are established in a special covenant relationship before YHWH in this New Covenant blessedness (verse 28b).

When have you been in distress over your own condition or over the condition of the church? When have things been like this before? What did the godly do, and what did God do? What will He do now?

Sample prayer:  Lord of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; yes, they will grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your ears will have no end. Make the children of Your servants to continue, and make our descendants to be established before You. Let this generation, and those to come, praise You here, where Your people are gathered to worship You through Christ, in Whose Name we ask it, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP102C “Let This Be Written for the Sake” or TPH102A “LORD, Hear My Prayer for Aid”

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