We are continuing our series of reflections on the Psalms. Each day we will upload a new reflection to the website. We hope and pray that you will find them helpful and that they bring hope during this season. Click on these buttons to read the text of the psalm or listen to a recording of it. You can also listen to the reflection using the audio player below.
This psalm is an individual lament, that is a cry to God in despair, for someone who is afflicted. It is in three sections, the first (verses 1-11) shows the psalmist in a desperate situation. Illness has overtaken him and he is at death’s door. He is aware how short life is (verses 3, 11), his bones, heart and flesh are failing (verses 3-5), sleep eludes him (verse 7) and he has lost his appetite (verse 9). And to add to his problems, his enemies taunt him (verse 8). It sounds very similar to the plight Job faced.
The psalmist could have stayed in his despair, but he made the choice to take his suffering to God and plead his cause. The first part of the second section (verses 12-17) looks at the enduring life and reign of God. In contrast to the psalmist’s transient life, God will reign forever and through all generations (verse 12). The psalmist’s understanding of the nature of God is the source of his hope. God will restore Zion. God will endure.
Whether we are in personal distress, or we look around at the state of the church at this time, we can be assured that God will respond to the prayer of the destitute and he will not despise their plea (verse 17).
Lord, thank you that we can call on you in our time of need. God of compassion, glorify your name.