Daniel Jurmu | The Voice of Zion February 2022 --
So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD. For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD. – Psalms 102:15–22
This Psalm is a prayer of one that was afflicted and overwhelmed, writing the thoughts of his heart to God. This Psalm reminds us of the glory and majesty of God, and it also assures us that God promises to hear the prayers of the poor and weak traveler and that God frees a person from the shackles of sin and doubts through the redemption work of His Son. God our heavenly Father is eternal and everlasting, He leads and directs our pathway, He protects and hears His children today and always.
Do We Fear God?
Our text begins with these words, “The heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.” A heathen is one who is faithless, ungodly or unbelieving, the opposite of a Christian or a believer. This fear to which the writer refers is an earthly fear and it comes from the human mind and carnal portion. Many in this world have this temporal fear of God because of their sinful condition and their unbelief. On the other hand, the children of God have been given this assurance: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).
We desire to hold God in high esteem, honor and praise Him but we need not fear Him when we believe sins forgiven. Psalms 111:10 teaches, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments.” Thus, we understand that God wants us to fear when we fail to “do his commandments.” Therefore, we need to put away sin and believe them forgiven so we need not fear. We have a loving and forgiving God that asks for each one of us to give Him our whole and entire heart and in return He will bless and protect us.
God Hears Our Prayers
As our passage continues it reminds us that God hears our prayers, even the prayers of the weak and poor and does not look down on them or detest them. Paul writes to the Philippians, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (4:6). Even though we often find ourselves to be doubting and poor believers, this passage encourages us to overcome those feelings and make our prayers and petitions known unto God. We have been given this wonderful promise that God hears our prayers even though they come from the heart of a weak traveler.
The Psalm writer relates God’s encouragement to “call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Ps. 50:15). God wants us to turn to Him in times of difficulty and sorrow. He has promised to help us in difficult times. When we look back in our lives, we can see how God has indeed helped and directed our lives, and as a result we wish to praise and thank Him.
Dear brothers and sisters, we have a good God that cares for us no matter our poorness or weakness. We can remember James’ words that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
The Living God
Later our text speaks about our God and how “he hath looked down from his sanctuary” (v. 19). He watches over the earth from His dwelling place in heaven. After Jesus died on the cross, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, the work of spreading the gospel continued through the power of the Holy Spirit. Stephen was one called to continue the work of Christ and shortly before his martyr’s death he was able to see heaven. In Acts 7 we read, “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (v. 55).
God and our Savior Jesus are living and present still today. Jesus also testified that God is living. In Matthew 22, Jesus says, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (v. 32).
Our text then assures us that Jesus hears our pleas and pains of sin. The Psalmist describes the weight of sin and the effect of unforgiven sin – death. God wishes us to be free from the shackles and bonds of sin, and He sent His Son our Lord Jesus Christ to redeem us from our sin. Jesus invites us, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). May we always remain seeking the care of the Good Shepherd, for it is He who cares for us.
We can be comforted dear brothers and sisters that despite our sinfulness and doubts we receive unmerited love and forgiveness. God has promised, all those who believe shall receive everlasting life with Him one day in heaven. Let us remain along with the Psalmist, simply trusting and believing in Him who cares for us.