"But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end.Psalm 102:27(NASB)
The urgent cry of help from this deeply distressed man at the beginning of this psalm, is a prayer from one who is overwhelmed by life's circumstances and the ongoing reproach of his enemies. His plaintive lament and urgent plea for God's immediate intervention is intensified as he describes his painful physical state and distraught emotional condition.
His intense pain caused the psalmist to describe his days as being consumed like smoke while his bones ached to the core. Because of his preoccupation with his distress, this man had even forgotten to eat. He had lost weight and complained his bones 'clung to his flesh'. This unnamed psalmist felt that life was not only passing him by like a wisp of smoke, but that death was closing in on him.
His deep lament reminds of us of the afflictions of Job who covered himself with sackcloth while ashes mingled with his unconsumed food and tears streamed into his drinking vessel. It reminds us of Nehemiah who was intensely grieved over the wretched state of Jerusalem. The writer of this psalm regarded his problems and pain to be discipline from the Lord, as he reflected on his own misdeeds and the gross sins of his nation, Israel, as he pleaded that God would not forsake them.
It is as we continue to consider the state of this tormented individual, that we see his attitude beginning to change. He starts to contrast the temporal state of man's fleeting days and the ever-present difficulties and dangers of this transient life, with the ceaseless existence and permanence of the eternal God.
He reminds himself that God endures forever, and his confidence in the Lord's never-failing mercy to rescue Zion, begins to surface. Perhaps this man was an exile in Babylon or Persia, but whoever he was, his distress started to be replaced by an increasing confident trust that God would hear his prayer and that He would arise and have mercy on him, his nation, and the city of Zion.
He pictured the Lord looking down from His heavenly sanctuary and began to consider the generations that would follow, who would also praise His holy name: "They will perish and pass away," he muses. "They will grow old like a garment," and be replaced by a succeeding generation. "But You are the same," is his enraptured realisation, "You are the same and Your years will not come to an end."
Once the psalmist looked to the Lord, remembered the truth, and recalled God's never-ending existence and changeless character, his soul was comforted, his spirit rose, and his heart was established on the glorious gospel of God. It was only then that the hope of respite from his present distressing circumstance returned.
The never-changing nature of God is seen in the face of Jesus Christ Who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, for He is the same and His years will never come to an end. And by God's grace through faith in Him, we too have an assurance that no matter what troubles and trials we may face in this life, God will use them for our good and His eternal glory, for we are His children and the sheep of His pasture.
May we take to heart the great comfort discovered by this psalmist whose cry of help to the Lord became an offering of praise and thanksgiving for His goodness and grace. May we always consider this fleeing life in the wider context of eternity.
Heavenly Father, how quickly life's difficulties can cause me to despair in my heart, and yet You are the same God Whose years never come to an end. Thank You that in Christ, I have been given sufficient grace to endure to the end and that You use the troubles and trials of life to bring me into a closer walk with Yourself. Keep me looking to You, recalling Your eternal existence, changeless character, and never-ending mercy which is new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. In Jesus' name, AMEN.