1 Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry for help come to you.
2 Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.
3 For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers.
4 My heart is blighted and withered like grass; I forget to eat my food.
5 Because of my loud groaning I am reduced to skin and bones.
6 I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.
7 I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof.
8 All day long my enemies taunt me; those who rail against me use my name as a curse.
9 For I eat ashes as my food and mingle my drink with tears
10 because of your great wrath, for you have taken me up and thrown me aside.
11 My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass.
12 But you, O LORD, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations.
13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come.
14 For her stones are dear to your servants; her very dust moves them to pity.
15 The nations will fear the name of the LORD, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.
16 For the LORD will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory.
17 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.
18 Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD:
19 “The LORD looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.”
21 So the name of the LORD will be declared in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem
22 when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship the LORD.
23 In the course of my life he broke my strength; he cut short my days.
24 So I said: “Do not take me away, O my God, in the midst of my days; your years go on through all generations.
25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded.
27 But you remain the same, and your years will never end.
28 The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you.”
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 like 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.