October 13 2023
Today, Friday October 13
The ‘Me’, ‘My’, ‘I’, Psalm
A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before the LORD.
1 Hear my prayer, O LORD, And let my cry come to You.
2 Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble; Incline Your ear to me; In the day that I call, answer me speedily.
3 For my days are consumed like smoke, And my bones are burned like a hearth.
4 My heart is stricken and withered like grass, So that I forget to eat my bread.
5 Because of the sound of my groaning My bones cling to my skin.
6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert.
7 I lie awake, And am like a sparrow alone on the housetop.
8 My enemies reproach me all day long, Those who deride me swear an oath against me.
9 For I have eaten ashes like bread, And mingled my drink with weeping,
10 Because of Your indignation and Your wrath; For You have lifted me up and cast me away.
11 My days are like a shadow that lengthens, And I wither away like grass.”
Years ago, I wrote over the top of this psalm in my Bible the words, “The ‘Me’, ‘My’, ‘I’, Psalm”. On another occasion as I was reading it, I wrote, “The ‘Oh Me’ Psalm”. The title doesn’t tell us who the writer of this psalm is, but it is very obvious whoever he is, that he is someone who is suffering and feels overwhelmed with personal sorry. This psalm has a title, and it lets us know that it was written as a prayer of someone who is “afflicted” and “overwhelmed” and simply wants to pour out his “troubles and complaints” to the LORD.
Psalm 102 is recognized as one of the seven penitential psalms (Psalms 6; 32; 38; 51; 130; 143), but it is unlike the others. The psalmist does not seem to have any personal guilt to confess. If there is penitence in the psalm, it is more of a national than a personal character. The psalmist is primarily lamenting the condition of the nation of Israel. The title relates more to the purpose of the psalm than the period of the psalm, which shows that it is intended for devotional use by those suffering affliction.
Psalm 102 is also recognized as messianic because the closing verses (25-26) are directly related to Christ in Hebrews 1:10-12. Moreover, the entire psalm can be viewed in the light of the great tribulation and the millennial age to follow. The anonymous author probably wrote it long after the destruction of Jerusalem (vv. 8, 14,16), about the time he thought Jeremiah's prophecy of the seventy-year captivity was about to be fulfilled (v. 13; Jer. 25:11-12; 29:10; see Dan. 9:2). Interestingly, some commentators have speculated who this anonymous writer might be. John Phillips thinks that Daniel, at the end of the captivity in Babylon, might be the author, while J. Vernon McGee thinks that David could be.
I believe this is one of those psalms that gives us the opportunity to express our emotions and feelings to the LORD in prayer. God made us in His image, which means He created us to have emotions. There are a wide range of emotions that we can experience. There are some that we don’t particularly like such as anger, fear, worry, jealousy, rejection, sadness, discouragement, and even depression. But if we didn’t know and experience sadness and sorrow, we couldn’t feel comfort and joy. It is not wrong or sinful to have “bad” emotional feelings. God created us to have them. But how we respond to them and what we do with them is what is really crucial.
Some people get angry, and they attack and tear up things and hurt people. Others get angry but then use that energy to attack the root problem that caused the anger. I believe God wants us to take our “burdens” and “cares” to the LORD and release our emotions to Him (1 Peter 5:7). We can do that by looking up to Him in prayer, and by reading and searching His Word to find the right response to our troubles and cares. It is there that we will find His “mercy and grace and help” in our time of need! (Hebrews 4:16).
Psalm 102 is a great psalm and prayer to keep close by and in mind whenever you are going through a ‘Me’, ‘My’, or ‘I’ time!