Psalm 102:1

The authorship and therefore the date of this psalm cannot be certainly fixed, or whether it be a national or an individual utterance; probably it is the latter. The alternations of thought and feeling are very noteworthy. We have -

I. EARNEST PRAYER. (Vers. 1, 2.) There is an ascending scale, reaching to a climax.

1. That the Lord would hear. "Hear, O Lord."

2. For close access. "Let my cry come unto thee." Do not hear me from afar, but come near to me.

3. For gracious hearing. "Hide not thy face," etc.; when I see thee, let not thy face be averted, but graciously turned to me.

4. For attentive hearing. "Incline thine ear;" as one anxious to hear bends down his ear, that he may more easily hear what is said.

5. For prompt reply. "Answer me speedily;" let there be no long delay. It is a blessed thing when our troubles and distresses lead us to God in prayer, and in prayer thus earnest and believing.

II. SAD COMPLAINT. There are nine verses of this (vers. 3-11). They tell of:

1. The swift approach of death. (Ver. 3.) As fuel in fierce heat and flame is swiftly consumed, so is it with his life.

2. Of his bitter sorrow. (Ver. 4.) All its strength and joy smitten, as is the grass with the sun-stroke, so that he cares not to live, forgets to eat bread.

3. His wasted form. He is worn as a skeleton, his bones cleave to his flesh.

4. His utter loneliness. (Ver. 6.) As the cormorant of the wilderness (Zephaniah 2:14; Isaiah 34:11), and as the owl. The owl is called in Arabic, "mother of the ruins."

5. His cruel enemies. (Ver. 8.) These, when they curse, point to him as an example of misery; when they would imprecate vengeance on any, they ask that those whom they curse may be wretched as the psalmist.

6. His abiding and unrelieved sorrow. (Ver. 9.) It mingles with all his food.

7. The cause of it. The Divine displeasure. "God's wrath has seized and hurled him aloft, only to cast him, as worthless, away" (cf. Isaiah 22:18).

8. The result of it all. Death is close at hand. Not improbably some exile dying far away in Babylon poured forth this bitter complaint. As the groans of a sick man are a relief, so is the outpouring of our trouble to God a relief to the burdened heart. It is ever well so to do. But now, out of these depths comes -

III. DIVINE COMFORT. There are eleven verses of this (vers. 12-22). And this comfort is drawn:

1. From the remembrance of the eternal God. (Ver. 12.) God does not die, though man does; God lives to carry on his work when men pass away.

2. The conviction that Zion's redemption is at hand. (Ver. 13.) He gathers this from the fact that the minds of the people of God were turned to the fallen Jerusalem (cf. Nehemiah 1-2:3). There were probably many conferences and much interest and prayer in regard to Zion (ver. 14); and the psalmist recognizes in all this one of the evidences that God's set time to be gracious to Zion has come.

3. The anticipation of the blessed results that shall follow on Zion's restoration. (Vers. 15, 16.) This is ever the harbinger of the world's conversion.

4. His grateful sense of the exceeding goodness of God which is to be made manifest (vers. 17-22). He thinks of the destitute, of the prisoner groaning in his misery, of those appointed unto death, and of the blessed help and deliverance that shall come to them all, and his heart leaps up in praise. But next we see -

IV. SADNESS SEEKING TO COME BACK AGAIN. (Ver. 23.) As is the way of sadness, it haunts the soul, and, though banished awhile, it will return. It was so with the psalmist. The remembrance of his own sore trouble comes over him again, and he bursts out in this piteous lament, "He weakened my strength in the way," etc., and he cries, "O my God, take me not away," etc. But God does not leave him; such holy troubled souls never are left. We next see -

V. SADNESS AGAIN DRIVEN AWAY. (Vers. 25-28.) His trust is restored; for:

1. He remembers the eternal God. This had been his comfort before (vers. 1, 2); and now it comes to his help once more. "Thou art the same, and thy years," etc. (ver. 27). And then he thinks of:

2. His children. They shall be established before God (ver. 28). And so the light again ariseth in the darkness. - S.C.

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.
On one occasion Sir Thomas Lawrence, the great painter, then President of the Royal Academy, visited the studio of a struggling young artist. He had noticed the young man's work, and thought it had some promise; but when he saw the sketches tacked up on the walls of the bare little room, he shook his head. They were rough, clever examples of the Flemish school, striking but coarse. "If I were you," said the great painter to the beginner, "I would not allow my eye to be familiarized with any but the highest forms of art. If you cannot afford to buy oil paintings, buy good engravings of great pictures. If you allow your eye to become familiar with what is vulgar in conception, however free and dashing the handling, and however excellent the feeling for colour, your taste will insensibly become depraved; whereas, if you habituate your eye to look only upon what is pure and grand, or refined and lovely, your taste will insensibly be elevated." It was sound artistic advice, and the young painter profited by it. It remains, also, sound moral advice for all young people. Our mind's eye needs training as much as our physical vision. If we hang pictures in the halls of our brain that are not elevating, our moral perceptions will become lowered. The best thoughts are within our reach. Why should we choose, instead, thoughts that are flippant, vulgar, or worse? Every time we put an undesirable picture in our mind's eye, where it will be often in view, we deprave our own understanding. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." If we wish to elevate and strengthen our souls, we must be careful in our choice of habitual thoughts. "Whatsoever things are true," etc. It is well-known advice — but can it be bettered?

(Free Church Record.)

I hate the work of them that turn
I. DESCRIBE THEIR CHARACTER. The phrase, "turn aside," denotes three things —

1. That there exists a way, path, or road in which we have to go.

2. That we have been in that way.

3. That there has been an awful departure from it.(1) Some turn aside cowardly (Numbers 21:4).(2) Some turn aside incautiously (1 Samuel 12:23). Bunyan's Pilgrim, with his companion Hopeful, wandered into the grounds of Giant Despair, and ultimately found themselves in the dungeons of Doubting Castle. He discovered a stile which led into a meadow, where was a footpath that seemed to run parallel with the high-road; into this path he went, thinking that it would prove easier for his feet. Let this illustrate what is meant to be conveyed by the term turning aside incautiously.(3) Others turn aside courteously and complaisantly.(4) Some turn aside through unwatchfulness (Matthew 26:41).


1. An evil work (Jeremiah 2:19).

2. A disgraceful and dishonourable work (Proverbs 14:34). What a disgraceful reflection it is upon the wisdom and economy of a man who begins to build, and is not able to finish! (Luke 14:28-30). How scandalous to forsake God, and associate with the devil; to exchange Christ for Belial, light for darkness, truth for error, liberty for bondage, heaven for hell!

3. It is a diabolical work; because it displays more of the devil than any other engagement pertaining to earth. It is following the example which apostate fiends have set. What was their original transgression but turning aside?

4. It is a ruinous work (Hebrews 10:28, 29).


1. Our hatred of this work should be sincere.

2. It should be publicly professed. Though the Christian ought to avoid the very appearance of ostentation, there are times when silence or neutrality would be highly criminal.

3. It should be constantly and cordially cherished. Pray that you may increase in the love of God; for in proportion as you love God, you will hate evil. Meditate also on the tremendous consequences which will not fail to follow.

4. It should be practically exemplified. Do not forget how possible it is for those who now profess to detest the evil, by slow, and almost, imperceptible, degrees to become familiarized with it, and ultimately being led to practise that which now they hate. David fell into this snare. Also Peter. How frail is human nature! Exemplify your detestation of the evil in question, by attending to the injunction of the apostle (Philippians 3:16). Persevere in the good way.

(R. Treffry.)

David, Psalmist
Afflicted, 102, Complaint, Cry, Ear, Faint, Fainteth, Feeble, Grief, Gt, Lament, Lt, O, Overcome, Overwhelmed, Plaint, Poureth, Pours, Prayer, Puts, Trouble, Yea
1. The prophet in his prayer makes a grievous complaint.
12. He takes comfort in the eternity, and mercy of God
18. The mercies of God are to be recorded
23. He sustains his weakness by the unchangeableness of God.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Psalm 102:1

     8224   dependence

Psalm 102:

     8610   prayer, asking God
     8640   calling upon God

Psalm 102:1-2

     5899   lament
     7963   song

Out of the Deep of Loneliness, Failure, and Disappointment.
My heart is smitten down, and withered like grass. I am even as a sparrow that sitteth alone on the housetop--Ps. cii. 4, 6. My lovers and friends hast Thou put away from me, and hid mine acquaintance out of my sight--Ps. lxxviii. 18. I looked on my right hand, and saw there was no man that would know me. I had no place to flee unto, and no man cared for my soul. I cried unto Thee, O Lord, and said, Thou art my Hope. When my spirit was in heaviness, then Thou knewest my path.--Ps. cxlii. 4, 5.
Charles Kingsley—Out of the Deep

That True Solace is to be Sought in God Alone
Whatsoever I am able to desire or to think of for my solace, I look for it not here, but hereafter. For if I alone had all the solaces of this world, and were able to enjoy all its delights, it is certain that they could not endure long. Wherefore, O my soul, thou canst be fully comforted and perfectly refreshed, only in God, the Comforter of the poor, and the lifter up of the humble. Wait but a little while, my soul, wait for the Divine promise, and thou shalt have abundance of all good things
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

That He who is About to Communicate with Christ Ought to Prepare Himself with Great Diligence
The Voice of the Beloved I am the Lover of purity, and Giver of sanctity. I seek a pure heart, and there is the place of My rest. Prepare for Me the larger upper room furnished, and I will keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples.(1) If thou wilt that I come unto thee and abide with thee, purge out the old leaven,(2) and cleanse the habitation of thy heart. Shut out the whole world, and all the throng of sins; sit as a sparrow alone upon the house-top,(3) and think upon thy transgressions
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

The Never Changing One.
"JESUS Christ the same yesterday, and to-day and forever" (Heb. xiii:8). Blessed truth and precious assurance for us poor, weak creatures, yea, among all His creatures the most changing; He changeth not. "For I am the Lord, I change not" (Mal. iii:6). "Of old hast Thou laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. They shall all 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;
Arno Gaebelein—The Lord of Glory

The Unchangeableness of God
The next attribute is God's unchangeableness. I am Jehovah, I change not.' Mal 3:3. I. God is unchangeable in his nature. II. In his decree. I. Unchangeable in his nature. 1. There is no eclipse of his brightness. 2. No period put to his being. [1] No eclipse of his brightness. His essence shines with a fixed lustre. With whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.' James 1:17. Thou art the same.' Psa 102:27. All created things are full of vicissitudes. Princes and emperors are subject to
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Our Last ChapterConcluded with the Words, "For Childhood and Youth are Vanity"...
Our last chapter concluded with the words, "For childhood and youth are vanity": that is, childhood proves the emptiness of all "beneath the sun," as well as old age. The heart of the child has the same needs--the same capacity in kind--as that of the aged. It needs God. Unless it knows Him, and His love is there, it is empty; and, in its fleeting character, childhood proves its vanity. But this makes us quite sure that if childhood can feel the need, then God has, in His wide grace, met the
F. C. Jennings—Old Groans and New Songs

Notes on the Fourth Century
Page 238. Med. 1. In the wording of this meditation, and of several other passages in the Fourth Century, it seems as though Traherne is speaking not of himself, but of, a friend and teacher of his. He did this, no doubt, in order that he might not lay himself open to the charge of over-egotism. Yet that he is throughout relating his own experiences is proved by the fact that this Meditation, as first written, contains passages which the author afterwards marked for omission. In its original form
Thomas Traherne—Centuries of Meditations

The Nature of Justification
Justification in the active sense (iustificatio, {GREEK SMALL LETTER DELTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER KAPPA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA WITH OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMEGA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}) is defined by the Tridentine Council as "a translation from that state wherein man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons of God through the second Adam,
Joseph Pohle—Grace, Actual and Habitual

Notes on the Third Century
Page 161. Line 1. He must be born again, &c. This is a compound citation from John iii. 3, and Mark x. 15, in the order named. Page 182. Line 17. For all things should work together, &c. See Romans viii. 28. Page 184. Lines 10-11. Being Satan is able, &c. 2 Corinthians xi. 14. Page 184. Last line. Like a sparrow, &c. Psalm cii. Page 187. Line 1. Mechanisms. This word is, in the original MS., mechanicismes.' Page 187. Line 7. Like the King's daughter, &c. Psalm xlv. 14. Page 188. Med. 39. The best
Thomas Traherne—Centuries of Meditations

After the Scripture.
"In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God created He him."--Gen. v. 1. In the preceding pages we have shown that the translation, "in Our image," actually means, "after Our image." To make anything in an image is no language; it is unthinkable, logically untrue. We now proceed to show how it should be translated, and give our reason for it. We begin with citing some passages from the Old Testament in which occurs the preposition "B" which, in Gen. i. 27, stands before image, where
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Third Sunday after Trinity Humility, Trust, Watchfulness, Suffering
Text: 1 Peter 5, 5-11. 5 Likewise, ye younger, be subject unto the elder. Yea, all of you gird yourselves with humility, to serve one another: for God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; 7 casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you. 8 Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 whom withstand stedfast
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Characters and Names of Messiah
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. S uch was the triumphant exultation of the Old Testament Church! Their noblest hopes were founded upon the promise of MESSIAH; their most sublime songs were derived from the prospect of His Advent. By faith, which is the substance of things hoped for, they considered the gracious declarations
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

Covenanting Predicted in Prophecy.
The fact of Covenanting, under the Old Testament dispensations, being approved of God, gives a proof that it was proper then, which is accompanied by the voice of prophecy, affording evidence that even in periods then future it should no less be proper. The argument for the service that is afforded by prophecy is peculiar, and, though corresponding with evidence from other sources, is independent. Because that God willed to make known truth through his servants the prophets, we should receive it
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Letter xvi to Rainald, Abbot of Foigny
To Rainald, Abbot of Foigny Bernard declares to him how little he loves praise; that the yoke of Christ is light; that he declines the name of father, and is content with that of brother. 1. In the first place, do not wonder if titles of honour affright me, when I feel myself so unworthy of the honours themselves; and if it is fitting that you should give them to me, it is not expedient for me to accept them. For if you think that you ought to observe that saying, In honour preferring one another
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

History of the Interpretation.
1. AMONG THE JEWS. This History, as to its essential features, might, a priori, be sketched with tolerable certainty. From the nature of the case, we could scarcely expect that the Jews should have adopted views altogether erroneous as to the subject of the prophecy in question; for the Messiah appears in it, not in His humiliation, but in His glory--rich in gifts and blessings, and Pelagian self-delusion will, a priori, return an affirmative answer to the question as to whether one is
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

"Without faith it is impossible to please God."--Heb. xi. 6. In order to prevent the possibility of being led into paths of error, faith is directed, not to a Christ of the imagination, but to "the Christ in the garments of the Sacred Scripture," as Calvin expresses it. And therefore we must discriminate between (1) faith as a faculty implanted in the soul without our knowledge; (2) faith as a power whereby this implanted faculty begins to act; and (3) faith as a result,--since with this faith (1)
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Spiritual Hunger Shall be Satisfied
They shall be filled. Matthew 5:6 I proceed now to the second part of the text. A promise annexed. They shall be filled'. A Christian fighting with sin is not like one that beats the air' (1 Corinthians 9:26), and his hungering after righteousness is not like one that sucks in only air, Blessed are they that hunger, for they shall be filled.' Those that hunger after righteousness shall be filled. God never bids us seek him in vain' (Isaiah 45:19). Here is an honeycomb dropping into the mouths of
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

An Analysis of Augustin's Writings against the Donatists.
The object of this chapter is to present a rudimentary outline and summary of all that Augustin penned or spoke against those traditional North African Christians whom he was pleased to regard as schismatics. It will be arranged, so far as may be, in chronological order, following the dates suggested by the Benedictine edition. The necessary brevity precludes anything but a very meagre treatment of so considerable a theme. The writer takes no responsibility for the ecclesiological tenets of the
St. Augustine—writings in connection with the donatist controversy.

The Being of God
Q-III: WHAT DO THE SCRIPTURES PRINCIPALLY TEACH? A: The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man. Q-IV: WHAT IS GOD? A: God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. Here is, 1: Something implied. That there is a God. 2: Expressed. That he is a Spirit. 3: What kind of Spirit? I. Implied. That there is a God. The question, What is God? takes for granted that there
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The piety of the Old Testament Church is reflected with more clearness and variety in the Psalter than in any other book of the Old Testament. It constitutes the response of the Church to the divine demands of prophecy, and, in a less degree, of law; or, rather, it expresses those emotions and aspirations of the universal heart which lie deeper than any formal demand. It is the speech of the soul face to face with God. Its words are as simple and unaffected as human words can be, for it is the genius
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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