Psalm 102 has three parts. In the first part the psalmist cries to the LORD in distress. In the second part he speaks of the LORD’s deliverance from distress. The third part speaks of the LORD’s actions as a testimony to others.
The LORD allows affliction – Psalm 102:1-11, 23-26
We do not want to hear this. We do want to hear of His loving restoration and care. However there are examples in the Bible of God allowing innocent people to be afflicted. Here are just a few. I am sure you can think of more. When you do why not post them as a comment? Hebrews 11:17 ff would be a good place to find other examples.
- God says Job is the most righteous man on earth. (Job 1:8; 2:3) Yet He allows Satan to afflict him. (Job 1:12; 2:7)
- Joseph does nothing wrong. He protects his purity. Yet he is jailed for years. His Egyptian master did it. (Genesis 39:6-20)
- Jesus the sinless Son of God and the promised Messiah is afflicted. The Jewish leaders and the Roman government did it. (Isaiah 53:1-10)
In each of these cases it is a godless person or group that afflicts. Yet God allows it to happen. In these cases affliction is not a result of sin. Sin may also cause affliction, but not in these examples.
The LORD restores the afflicted – Psalm 102:12-17, 27-28
Those whom the LORD allows to be afflicted He restores.
- Job gains greater understanding of God (Job 42:1-6). He also is granted twice as much as the affliction removed. (Job 42:10)
- Joseph the become ruler of Egypt. (Genesis 41:38-44)
- Jesus is exalted above all beings in heaven and earth. He is to be worshiped by all. (Philippians 2:9-11)
How we should respond
- We may be the ones to carry out the LORD’s deliverance of others. (Psalm 102:18-22) God may have chosen us to serve Him in this way.
- We should not assume that all affliction is the result of sin. Job’s “friends” did this. God demanded they repent. (Job 42:7-9)
- We should see affliction as possibly a blessing. Maybe God deals with us as sons. (Hebrews 12:5-6; Proverbs 3:11-12)
The LORD allows affliction
The LORD restores the afflicted
There are some other notes on Psalm 102 at Bible.org.