Hear my prayer, O Jehovah, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day of my distress: Incline thine ear unto me; In the day when I call answer me speedily For my days consume away like smoke, And my bones are burned as a firebrand. My heart is smitten like grass, and withered; for I forget to eat my bread. By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my flesh. I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am become as an owl of the waste places. I watch, and am become like a sparrow that is alone upon the house-top. Mine enemies reproach me all the day; they that are mad against me do curse by me. For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: For thou hast taken me up, and cast me away. My days are like a shadow that declineth; And I am withered like grass but thou, O Jehovah, wilt abide forever; And thy memorial name unto all generations. Thou wilt arise, and have mercy upon Zion; For it is time to have pity upon her, Yea, the set time is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and have pity upon her dust. So the nations shall fear the name of Jehovah, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. For Jehovah hath built up Zion; He hath appeared in his glory. He hath regarded the prayer of the destitute, and hath not despised their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come; And a people who shall be created shall praise Jehovah. For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; From heaven did Jehovah behold the earth; To hear the sighing of the prisoner; To loose those that are appointed to death; That men may declare the name of Jehovah in Zion, And his praise in Jerusalem; When the peoples are gathered together, And the kingdoms, to serve Jehovah. 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 didst thou lay 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. (ASV)
When I read verses 1-11 I am reminded of the opening verses of Job. These could have been the words of Job after Satan put forth his hand against him. When these events happened Job’s wife said to him “Then said his wife unto him, dost thou still hold fast your integrity? Renounce God, and die.” His answer to her was similar to verses 12-28 of this psalm “Thou speak as one of the foolish women speak. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” Job’s view of God was solid which caused him to be blameless in the eyes of the Lord “In all this did not Job sin with his lips”.
How does a person measure their relationship with God? The answer to this question varies on your beliefs about the character and attributes of God. Over the past several years that I start my journey of reading five psalms a day to help my prayer life I have seem that both my beliefs about God’s character and his attributes change. This is because my relationship with Him has changed. God is now not someone who I turn to in my time of need, but is now someone who I desire to fellowship with daily. The events in my life are not always characterized by the first opening verses of this psalm; however, I have learned that God’s character is unchanging. Verse twelve states that the Lord sit enthroned forever, his renown endures through all generations. God will always be God. By staying daily in the psalms I have realized that my knowledge of God grows daily and with this my relationship with him becomes deeper. To those who state that you cannot know God, fail to heed Christ’s words found in Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”.
Verses 25 through 27 are used by the author of the opening chapter of the book of Hebrews in verses 10-12. Verse eighteen “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD” points to the coming salvation from God that is available through work of Christ.