A Psalm of David
1: I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing. 2: I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. 3: I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. 4: A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. 5: Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. 6: Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. 7: He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. 8: I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.
A sufferer’s Prayer
A Prayer of the afflicted when he is overwhelmed and pureth out his complaint before the LORD
1: Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee. 2: Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. 3: For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth. 4: My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread. 5: By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. 6: I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. 7: I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top. 8: Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me. 9: For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, 10: Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down. 11: My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. 12: But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. 13: Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. 14: For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. 15: So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. 16: When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. 17: He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. 18: This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD. 19: For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; 20: To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; 21: To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; 22: When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD. 23: He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days. 24: I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations. 25: Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. 26: 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: 27: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. 28: The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.
Today we are reading Psalms 101 and 102. The next two Psalms describe the coming King – Christ and his universal rule and the King in his humiliation. Psalm 101 is a Psalm of David which has two verses both of which speak of ‘the perfect way’ and it describes the way in which the righteous man will live in the Messianic kingdom and in contrast David also describes the judgment of God on those who turn aside and live wickedly. He begins saying I will sing of the mercy and judgment of the LORD. And therefore I will behave myself and live with wisdom in ‘the perfect way’. The perfect way is the life of those in the Kingdom who live according to the Law which is written on their hearts. The righteous man will live before the Lord with a perfect heart. He asks the Lord that he will enable him to do no wicked thing before his eyes. And he says I hate the work of those that turn away from the Lord and it will never stick to me. He says a proud heart will depart from me and I will not have companionship with a wicked person such as one who speaks behind his neighbours back. I will cut him out of the circle of my friends. Then David says the man who has a superior attitude and a conceited mind, I will not put up with him. I will have sweet fellowship with those who are faithful to the Lord in the land. He will live perfectly before the Lord and serve the Lord. The man of deceit will not live in the house of the Lord nor the man who tells lies. The Lord will destroy all the wicked in the land and from the city of the LORD. Psalm 102 is a prayer of the afflicted when he is overwhelmed by troubles and he brings his complaint before the Lord. It is also a description of the sufferings and humiliation of the King - Christ. He begins saying. O LORD let my cry come to you. Hide not your face from me in my day of trouble - hear me and deliver me quickly. Because my days are disappearing like smoke and my bones which burn to ash in a furnace. My heart is smitten and withers like grass so that I forget to eat. Because of my groans my bones stick to my skin. I am like a pelican in the wilderness and I am like an owl in the desert – friendless. I am like a sparrow on the house top who constantly watches for danger. My enemies say bad things about me all day long and they swear oaths against me. I have eaten ashes as if they are bread and I drink my own tears with water. Lord your indignation and wrath is against me. You have lifted me up and you have cast me down. My days are like a shadow that is passing away. I am dying like grass in the heat. But you O LORD will endure for ever and all generations will remember you. You will rise and have mercy on Zion because the time has come for your blessing to come. Your servants will be delighted in your stones and they will even look favourably on the dust of Zion. In that day the heathen will fear the name of the LORD and all the kings of the earth will glory in the Lord. When the LORD comes to build up Zion he will come in his glory and he will listen to the prayer of the destitute and he will not despise their prayer. Future generations will read this truth and they will praise the LORD. The Lord will look down from heaven to look on the earth. He will hear the groaning of the prisoner and he will set them free who are on death row, in order that they might declare the name of the LORD in Zion and they will praise him in Jerusalem. This will happen when the people of the LORD will be gathered together and the kingdoms of the world will serve the LORD. But the Lord weakens me in the path and he shortens my days. I said, O my God, do not allow me to die in the middle of my days, because your years continue throughout all generations. In ancient days you laid the foundation of the earth and the universe is the product of your hands. The universe will perish but you will endure forever. They will become old like a worn out coat and like a nightshirt you will change them. But you remain the same and your years will have no end. The children of the servants of the Lord will live and their children will be established before you.