Friday, September 2, 2016

Hope For The Future

Psalm 102:1-28

A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD.

“Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee.  Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.  For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.  My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.  By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin.” (Psalm 102:1-5)

The Psalmist felt like his days were just going past like a puff of smoke yet he was struggling and hurting as if his bones were sitting on the edge of the fire.  And his heart felt like it was drying up like dead grass so he didn’t even feel like eating.  He was depressed and felt hopeless.  He begs God to listen and answer right away. 

“I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.  I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.  Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me.  For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down.  My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.” (Psalm 102:6-11)

The psalmist feet like a pelican in the wilderness or an owl in the desert,  just hoping to find something to eat, like single sparrow on the roof with no one to warn him of danger.  His enemies were constantly running him down and looking for an opportunity to attack.   Sorrow had made pleasure seem like ashes and caused his tears to run into his drink.  He felt like god was angry with him, and had just lifter him up so he could smash him down harder.  He felt like his life was disappearing quickly and he was just drying up and fading away. 

“But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.  Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.  For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.” (Psalm 102:12-14)

The Psalmist understood his feelings were not reality, but only emotions.  God would live for eternity and be remembered throughout history.  Despite what they were experiencing, God would have mercy on Jerusalem and rebuild it because God’s people were beginning to want to rebuild and worship at the Temple. Preferring the dust in Jerusalem to the paved streets o fBabylon. 
“So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.  When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.  He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.” (Psalm 102:15-17)

When the Lord restores Israel and makes Jerusalem hi capital, The people of all the nations will recognize God’s power, and their rulers will come to meet the Lord.  He will appear and all will know his authority and power.  Revelation 19:11-16 gives a little more about that time.   “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.   And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

“This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.  For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.” (Psalm 102:18-22)

At that time Jews and Gentiles will form a single nation as described in Ephesians 2:11-13.  “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”  

The people of that day will experience God’s power in mighty way,  because God will come down and straighten out the problems on earth, releasing the prisoners and declaring the lord’s name everywhere.  The many different races will unite to serve God. 

“He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days.  I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.  Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.  They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.  The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.” (Psalm 102:23-28)

The Psalmist was discouraged, and felt that his life was slipping away and his power was gone, but asked God to let live out his life.  He realized that God had created the earth and it would one day be destroyed, but God would continue forever.  He would make a new heaven and earth to replace these as if he was just changing his shirt.   When he did, his children would be transferred to the new Heaven and earth, like a man transferring his stuff from one pocket to another, and they would live forever with God.    Hopeless as everything looked at the moment, he was still looking forward to eternity with God.  

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