Psalm 102:12 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.

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.

MEMORY VERSE: Thou, O Lord, shalt endure forever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. —Psalm102:12

CENTRAL THOUGHT: From heaven the Lord beheld lost humanity and heard the groaning of those in the prison house of sin and death. And in the fullness of time He sent the Savior to declare His name to those who were gathered together to serve Him.


Psalm 102:13 “Set time”: the time appointed and decreed by God that would come to pass.

Psalm 102:20 “The groaning of the prisoner”: the sighing of the contrite captives in the prison house of sin, who are longing for deliverance and salvation. “Those that are appointed to death”: simply, “the sons of death” (Hebrew). This refers to all of us who are under the universal sentence of death on account of sin and transgression.

Psalm 102:22 “When the people are gathered together”: the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the apostles and power was given to declare the name of the Lord Jesus to the great host of devout men who had gathered there to worship God. (Acts 2:5).

Psalm 102:25 “Of old”: before the created realm came into sight; the Word and Spirit of God moving and preparing for the heavens and the earth.

Psalm 102:26 “As a vesture shalt thou change them”: the earth and humanity which undergo constant change and deterioration, as a man changes from one garment to another. Man goes from birth to childhood, then to teenage years, and on to adulthood and old age, and eventually to death. Man is always changing from one stage of life to another.

Psalm 102:27 “But thou art the same” from the Hebrew expression, “Thou art He,” which implies that Christ in His risen, immortal state has an unchanging bearing, not weakened by disease or old age, not worn by toil and adversity, and not ravaged by hurt and the destructive elements of the world. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).


We cannot include in our text the entirety of this touching and inspiring Psalm 102. We mainly want to consider the prophetic phase of the Psalm and that to which it points; it is also good to consider the first part which describes the mournful and heartrending situation that was the background of the writer. Consider Adam Clarke’s comments on this: “The Hebrew, and nearly all the versions, give the following title to this Psalm: ‘A prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and pours out his sighing before the Lord.’ There seems to be little doubt that this is the prayer of the captives in Babylon, when, towards the end of the captivity, they were almost worn out with oppression, cruelty and distress.”

It was a time of sorrow, and the days of the writer were drawing to a close. His language is ardent and hopeful, despite his hardships and sorrows. He foretells the coming of the Lord, not just for the liberation of the captives in Babylon back to literal Jerusalem, but He points to Christ who would come to Zion—to spiritual Zion, or those who are seeking to serve the Lord in truth and righteousness. The writer in Hebrews 1:10-12 quotes from this Psalm and applies verses 25, 26 and 27 directly to Christ and the establishment of His kingdom of grace.

It is so touching and beautiful how the prophet beholds the Lord looking down from the height of His sanctuary and purposes in His great, loving heart to do three things: (1) To give an ear to the cry coming up to Him from the hearts of souls pining away in their sinful condition, (2) to bring deliverance to the captives under the death sentence, and (3) to declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem. The latter one was to be done at a time when the people would be gathered together to worship the Lord as they were on the day of Pentecost. This was prophecy, pure prophecy, and the writer knew that these were future events. Thank God for the regard that was shown to the poor and their prayers. This pointed to the priesthood of the Lord Jesus and His intercession at the right hand of God for the prayers of His saints. All this was brought to pass in the wondrous visitation of Christ to this world.

—Bro. Leslie Busbee


  1. About what was the prophet prophesying?
  2. What was the real Zion that Jesus wanted to build up?
  3. What were the things from heaven of which the Lord took note?
  4. What did He purpose to do and who did He purpose to help?
  5. What was the Lord going to accomplish on our behalf?


God’s people have had to endure much sorrow and suffering in the process of waiting patiently for the Lord to come to their rescue and fulfill His wonderful promises. Psalm 102 surely shows this. The heading says, “A prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the Lord.” We behold in his expressions and description of his troubles a woeful plight that he is enduring. The beautiful temple of God that Solomon had built was in ruins, and so was the city of Jerusalem, but his tears give place to comfort and peace at the prospect of what God is revealing to him concerning that which is to come.

God was shining a light of hope that He would arise and have mercy on Zion. The real fulfillment of this prophecy was the coming of the Messiah, the Christ. Ezra and Nehemiah, with the returning captives from Babylon, would rebuild the temple and the walls of Jerusalem; however, that was not to spell the end of the woes of the Israelites.

Another 400 years would go by; silent years in which little is known. The writer of this Psalm went to the grave with all the others, but the day did come when God brought His prophecies to pass in a wonderful way. All the sorrow, grief and suffering had not passed His notice and attention. He had heard the groaning of the prisoners and beheld the death and misery that stained the earth.

He would come down to bring the deliverance and salvation that was needed. Jesus did come and accomplished the will of God. He submitted to die for all mankind, so that He might be resurrected and triumph over it all. Thus He was to live and endure unchanging with years that have no end, and those He had redeemed were to continue with Him forever. This is the salvation that He brought to us. We can be delivered from the prison house of sin, and share with Him eternal life. We can be built up to be a spiritual Zion and a new Jerusalem that is eternal. Thank the Lord we do not have to remain under the bondage of the devil, for whom the Son makes free is free indeed! We can be established before Him and continue with Him forevermore.

—Bro. Leslie Busbee


The Isle of Patmos in Greece. Devil’s Island in French Guinea. St. Helena Island in the South Atlantic. Alcatraz on the west coast of the United States of America. Throughout history, there have been many notorious prisons to which famous historical characters were exiled, with no likely hope of escape. Napoleon Bonaparte was banished to St. Helena by the British after his defeat at Waterloo. Alcatraz, a small, rocky island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, from 1934 to 1963 housed numerous notorious American criminals, and escape attempts were few and nearly always unsuccessful.

Yet, there is an even greater prison—with an accompanying sentence of eternal death—to which all mankind had been banished when the world was plunged into sin by the fall of Adam. There was no hope of escape from this prison, nor any remedy to deliver mankind from our deserved death sentence. But thank God for Jesus Christ! I am reminded of a song I often listened to as a child, sung by the Phillips family of Wichita, Kansas on one of their albums. A line from “He Bore It All” states, “I stood condemned to die, but Jesus took my place. He bore it all that I might live.”

Yes, thank God for His Salvation! He always hears the cry of every soul that is bound in sin, and in His mercy and wisdom reveals to each one who truly seeks His face the remedy to escape eternal damnation. As another of our songs states, truly “how dark” was our “prison house of sin”, but by God’s mercy, Jesus’ love beamed into our hearts “sweet rays of hope” for our deliverance! Praise the Lord!

—Bro. Fari Matthews