The Day of My Distress

man in gray shit sitting on rock boulder
Photo by daffa rayhan zein on


Reading the Word

Psalm 102:1–11 (ESV)

1 Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you! 2 Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call! 3 For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace. 4 My heart is struck down like grass and has withered; I forget to eat my bread. 5 Because of my loud groaning my bones cling to my flesh. 6 I am like a desert owl of the wilderness, like an owl of the waste places; 7 I lie awake; I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop. 8 All the day my enemies taunt me; those who deride me use my name for a curse. 9 For I eat ashes like bread and mingle tears with my drink, 10 because of your indignation and anger; for you have taken me up and thrown me down. 11 My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass.

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm has historically been classified as a penitential psalm, which is a psalm of confession of sin. It is interesting because the psalm never mentions a confession of sin. There is lament over the circumstances the writer is facing and a call for relief, but there is no mention of sin as the cause. The reason(s) for the psalmist’s troubles are unmentioned.

This psalm does help us as we face difficulties in our own lives. We often suffer and hurt and wonder why things are the way they are. We call out to God and wonder if he is listening because he does not seem to answer. If you have ever felt that way, the words of Psalm 102 will resonate with you. As we continue reading the rest of the verses tomorrow, we will see that God is always there and that we can find our hope in him. We may not have all of the answers to our “Why?” questions, but we do know the answers to our troubles are in the sovereign hands of God.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

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