Monday, October 16, 2017
Psalms 102:18 – 20 Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD: “The LORD looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.”
Everyone gets discouraged occasionally. Left unresolved, it can lead some to get downright downcast, leading to despair, depression, and despondency. We naturally, because of our human nature, gravitate towards hopelessness.
In those times of severe hopelessness, tragedy may strike. How hopeless life must have appeared in May of 2007 for the 25-year old mother in Texas who hung her four children and then herself. A broken relationship, abuse, restraining orders, and the worries of surviving a potential financial crisis, all may have compounded into a bleak outlook on life that justified the ending of life.
Contrast that tragedy with the prayer of an afflicted man who is also nearly hopeless. Psalm 102 is written by one who is in severe pain and fainting from the afflictions of life. He has health issues, deep discouragement issues, and serious doubt issues about God. Yet in the midst of his despair, when life is changing for the worst, he remembers one eternal truth that shines light at the end of his tragic tunnel – But you, O LORD, sit enthroned forever. (vs. 12)
Have you ever noticed how often we use the word but in our everyday conversations? Most people I know use the word to argue from the positive to the negative.
- It’s sunny now, but it will probably rain.
- I’m feeling good now, but I bet it won’t last.
- I got all the bills paid this month, but I wonder what will happen next month.
On and on we go in our periods of pessimism. But the man writing this Psalm uses the word but to argue from the negative to the positive.
Life stinks, BUT God is still on the throne and in control.
Then, because he chooses to look at life from God’s perspective, he writes these words of encouragement for all of us:
“The LORD looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.”
The eternal God, who sits on the throne and governs all things, sees every need that we have. He hears the groans we utter under the bondage of our circumstances. He provides for a way to escape the condemnation of death. His ultimate provision for everything that seeks to destroy our lives is this – He sent His Son Jesus as our one and only hope.
Billions of people are living under the condemnation of death. You have neighbors and friends who are living in various stages of hopelessness. Maybe you are attempting to survive a crisis in your own strength and slowly slipping into serious despair. If only there was a truth that would heal and restore.
Good news! There is. God looked down from His holy sanctuary and saw our need. Then, with compassion, mercy, and grace, He sent Jesus to meet our need and give us hope.
Once we see the healing power of Jesus, the Psalmist encourages us to write the message of Jesus Christ into the everyday language of our lives so that future generations will praise the Lord. Verse 21 says, “that they may declare in Zion the name of the LORD, and in Jerusalem his praise…”
The power of Jesus to save lives from the prison of sin and death is not to be experienced and then preserved: it is to be experienced and then professed.
We will all meet numerous individuals today who need Jesus. Instead of asking, “Who will tell them” we should be asking, “How will I tell them?”
God has heard the groans of the prisoners. Have we, and are we prepared to give them hope?