Greetings in Jesus!
I enjoyed this message given by Art Katz based on Psalm 102 very much and was blessed by it.
I don't know that I can bring more light to what this most excellent brother shared, but I have come to want to talk about it now any way.
In times of pressure, I often turn to this psalm: PSALM 102.
The New King James Version calls this psalm "A Prayer of the afflicted, when overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before the LORD."
Certianly it is a cry of desperation, but it also contains some precious jewels.
The first verses reveal a heart of desperation:
Hear my prayer, O LORD,
And let my cry come to You,
Do not hide Yout face from me in the day of trouble;
Incline Your ear to me;
In the day that I call, answer me speedily.
Here is a desperate person who knows that he has no help but in God, I like the way the psalmists are so frank; they do not cover anything up: "If You don't listen, Lord, I've got no other help. I'm sunk."
Then the psalmist goes on in verses three and four to describe his own pitiful condition:
For my days are consumed like smoke,
And my bones are burned like a hearth.
My heart is stricked and withered like grass,
So that I forget to eat my bread.
This is a person in desperation, who cannot even remember to eat and who keeps losing weight. The psalmist continues in verses five through seven:
Because of the sound of my groaning
My bones cling to my skin.
I am like a pelican of the wilderness;
I am like an owl of the desert.
I lie awake,
And like a sparrow alone on the housetop.
The pelican and the owl are two birds that seldom seem happy. And what is the problem with that sparrow? He's ALONE! He has lost his mate!
In verses eight through ten we get to the heart of the matter:
My enemies reproach me all day long,
And those who deride me swear an oath against me
For I have eaten ashes like bread,
And mingled my drink with weeping,
Because of Your indignation and Your wrath;
For You have lifted me up and cast me away.
To me, that is the core of man's suffering: "You have lifted me up and cast me away. You raised me up. You gave me prominence, and then You threw me aside."
I believe this is the most bitter statement anybody can make in which we just read in verses eight through ten in of this psalm.
That I just shared with you above is the root agony of the Jewish people.
You see God had lifted them up 2,400 years ago. Back then, if you wanted to know about God, to whom did you go?
To a Jew!
If you wanted to know the true forms of worship, to whom did you go?
To a Jew!
If to you wanted to meet God in person, where did you go?
Gentiles can hardly empathize with all the Jewish people have gone through.
The psalmist says, "You cast me away."
As evidence, a Muslim mosque now stands where the Temple once stood.
I have learned somethings from suffering, and I have learned somethings about the reasons why people suffer. I have learned that the hardest, most painful form of suffering is rejection. I believe that is the deepest wound of the human heart.
In our society today we are surrounded by people who have been rejected. I believe human beings were designed to encounter love.
But when a little child does not encounter love from father or mother, there is a deep wound of rejection. After that, many other wounds may follow.
People are reaching out for love continually. But where they meet the opposite, the result is often a desperately deep wound.
The root problem of the Jewish people is rejection, and they do not know it!
If you have ever dealt with a Jewish people; you would know they often tend to be agressive. But that's just a cover up, that's all.
The truth of the matter is, they are longing to be loved. This is true of the Jewish people; they are longing for acceptance.
The psalmist says, "You have lifted me up and cast me away."
I could refer to several passages that say the same thing about Israel. God certianly lifted them up, He made them the head of the nations, He gave them a place of prominence --- and then He cast them away!
However, God has not cast them away forever!
But you must have faith to lay hold of that.
Verse 12 in this psalm, is where we find hope.
Here is the biblical response to rejection:
But You, O LORD, shall endure forever,
And the remembrance of Your name to all generations.
"But You, O LORD." Turn your mind from yourself, your problems, your sufferings, your failures. For there is no help to be found there.
The only source of hope and help is the Lord.
You can blame other people for your situation (which may be perfectly correct), but they have no solution to offer you.
There is only one solution: the Lord --- and He is always there.
God bless you,
dear brothers and sisters.