Penitential Psalms 5: Psalm 102

Psalm 102 is the fifth penitential psalm with a reference to bones. I plan to do a bit more digging and reflection on bones in Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, and 102 later this week. For today, some other notes on Psalm 102.

In Psalm 102, the penitent turns from crying to God for help and describing his/her own situation to a reflection on God’s timeless qualities. The penitent’s days are like grass, but God is enthroned forever. Even the heavens and the earth will perish – but God will remain. The penitent looks forward to God’s redemption for future generations as well as salvation in the present from the penitent’s situation.

Again there is a strong connection between the spiritual & physical state of the penitent. God is the one who brings relief both to the penitent’s spirit and body. The relief of spirit and body are connected, as the affliction of spirit and body are connected.

It is difficult for me to do more with this Psalm today as the words in it on the brevity of life strike particularly close to home. A couple of days ago my pastor, friend, and respected elder sister in faith died, cut off in the midst of her years. Yet God provides hope for the future, for rebuilding as this Psalm puts it. We look for the resurrection of the dead.


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