October 17 2023
Today, Tuesday October 17
“For the Generation to Come”
23 He weakened my strength in the way; He shortened my days.
24 I said, "O my God, Do not take me away in the midst of my days; Your years are throughout all generations.
25 Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
26 They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed.
27 But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.
28 The children of Your servants will continue, And their descendants will be established before You."
Today we will finish our thoughts on Psalm 102 by looking at verses 23-28. We have mentioned how this anonymous psalmist was probably writing Psalm 102 in between the time of the captivity in Babylon and the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem and the restoration of the people back in the land. He was despondent, he was discouraged, he was overwhelmed with affliction, and as the title says, he poured out his complaint to the Lord.
In verses 1-11, it's “me, me, my, my, and I, I. He was looking at himself and his problems and at the difficulties the nation was facing at the time, and he was very discouraged. But then in the middle verses, 12 through 22, he looks up and sees Jehovah and remembers that he has a covenant God who will not change. Yes, things change around him every day just like for us, but God is an unchanging God. God’s covenant is everlasting, and it does not change with the people of Israel. I like what the pastor and great Bible expositor and commentator, Alexander Maclaren said: “Zion cannot die while Zion’s God lives.”
In verse 23, the psalmist was afraid he would die in mid-life and never see the restoration of Judah, Jerusalem, and the temple. (See Isaiah 38:10.) The eternal God would remain forever, but frail humans have only a brief time on earth (Psalm 90:1-12). Psalm 102:25-27) is quoted in Hebrews 1:10-12 and applied to Jesus Christ, which reminds us that it is in Him that these promises will be fulfilled. He is God and He is the same from generation to generation (Heb. 13:5-8).
Leaders come and go, cities and buildings appear and vanish, but the Lord is the same and never abdicates His throne. God's eternality reminds us of our own frailty and the transitory nature of our lives, but it also reminds us that His promises and purposes will be fulfilled. The psalmist closed his prayer by remembering the future generations, for though he did not see his prayer answered in his day, he knew that the answer would come. May we today be concerned about God's work on earth and the future generations who will serve Him after we are gone! May the future not weep because we have not been faithful!
I thought you might enjoy reading Spurgeon’s summary of Psalm 102 from His commentary, The Treasury of David: “In the first part of the Psalm, Psalms 102:1-11, the moaning monopolizes every verse, the lamentation is unceasing, sorrow rules the hour. The second portion, from Psalms 102:12-28, has a vision of better things, a view of the gracious Lord, and his eternal existence, and care for his people, and therefore it is interspersed with sunlight as well as shaded by the cloud, and it ends up right gloriously with calm confidence for the future, and sweet restfulness in the Lord. The whole composition may be compared to a day which, opening with wind and rain, clears up at noon and is warm with the sun, continues fine, with intervening showers, and finally closes with a brilliant sunset.”
This is a great prayer that should remind us today, that despite how things might change in our lives and how we might feel, God is unchanging, and we should keep “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith”. (Hebrews 12:2). And remember, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8)!