Psalms 102:1-28 . A Prayer of the afflicted, &c.--The general terms seem to denote the propriety of regarding the Psalm as suitably expressive of the anxieties of any one of David's descendants, piously concerned for the welfare of the Church. It was probably David's composition, and, though specially suggested by some peculiar trials, descriptive of future times. overwhelmed--(compare Psalms 61:2 ). poureth out--pouring out the soul--( Psalms 62:8 ). complaint--( Psalms 55:2 ). The tone of complaint predominates, though in view of God's promises and abiding faithfulness, it is sometimes exchanged for that of confidence and hope.
5. voice . . . groaning--effect put for cause, my agony emaciates me.
6, 7. The figures express extreme loneliness.
8. sworn against me--or literally, "by me," wishing others as miserable as I am ( Numbers 5:21 ).
9. ashes--a figure of grief, my bread; weeping or tears, my drink ( Psalms 80:5 ).
10. lifted . . . cast me down--or, "cast me away" as stubble by a whirlwind ( Isaiah 64:6 ).
11. shadow . . . declineth--soon to vanish in the darkness of night.
12. Contrast with man's frailty (compare Psalms 90:1-7 ).
thy remembrance--that by which Thou art remembered, Thy promise.
13, 14. Hence it is here adduced.
the set time, &c.--the time promised, the indication of which is the interest felt for Zion by the people of God.
15-17. God's favor to the Church will affect her persecutors with fear.
16. When the Lord shall build--or better, "Because the Lord hath built," &c., as a reason for the effect on others; for in thus acting and hearing the humble, He is most glorious.
18. people . . . created--(compare Psalms 22:31 ), an organized body, as a Church.
19-22. For--or, "That," as introducing the statement of God's condescension. A summary of what shall be written.
to loose . . . appointed--or, "deliver" them ( Psalms 79:11 ).
21. To declare, &c.--or, that God's name may be celebrated in the assemblies of His Church, gathered from all nations ( Zechariah 8:20-23 ), and devoted to His service.
23-28. The writer, speaking for the Church, finds encouragement in the midst of all his distresses. God's eternal existence is a pledge of faithfulness to His promises.
in the way--of providence.
weakened--literally, "afflicted," and made fearful of a premature end, a figure of the apprehensions of the Church, lest God might not perform His promise, drawn from those of a person in view of the dangers of early death (compare Psalms 89:47 ). Paul ( Hebrews 1:10 ) quotes Psalms 102:26-28 as addressed to Christ in His divine nature. The scope of the Psalm, as already seen, so far from opposing, favors this view, especially by the sentiments of Psalms 102:12-15 (compare Isaiah 60:1 ). The association of the Messiah with a day of future glory to the Church was very intimate in the minds of Old Testament writers; and with correct views of His nature it is very consistent that He should be addressed as the Lord and Head of His Church, who would bring about that glorious future on which they ever dwelt with fond delightful anticipations.