October 19, 2021 – Tuesday
Psalm 102:9-10 NIV
9 For I eat ashes as my food and mingle my drink with tears
10 because of your great wrath, for you have taken me up and thrown me aside.
Whether you are looking at this Psalm in the NIV or the AKJV you will find an introductory title like A prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the Lord NIV or A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the Lord AKJV. However, if you look at Charles Spurgeon’s “Treasury of David” three volume set on the Psalms you will find something different. While Spurgeon acknowledges a title of “A prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the Lord” he chooses ‘for memory purposes’ to call this Psalm “The Patriot’s Plaint.”
Why would Spurgeon want to call this Psalm “The Patriot’s Plaint?” Because he writes, This is a patriot’s lament over his country’s distress. He arrays himself in the griefs of his nation as in a garment of sackcloth, and casts dust and ashes upon his head as the ensigns and causes of his sorrow. He has his own private woes and personal enemies, he is moreover sore afflicted in body by sickness, but the miseries of his people cause him a far more bitter anguish, and this he pours out in an earnest pathetic lamentation.
Not, however, without hope does the patriot mourn; he has faith in God, and looks for the resurrection of the nation through the omnipotent favour of the Lord. Thus, from Spurgeon’s given perspective, this Psalm is more about suffering than sinning.
With the above in mind let’s take a look at our two verses for the day (and hopefully you will be moved to read the entire Psalm as well). What are we to make of For I eat ashes as my food and mingle my drink with tears? Here we may consider the Psalmist has so frequently cast ashes on his head in mourning, the ashes – along with tears – have made their way into his food and drink. Then we have because of your great wrath, for you have taken me up and thrown me aside which is very visual. Spurgeon opines, Our translation gives the idea of a vessel uplifted in order that it may be dashed to the earth with all the greater violence and more completely broken in pieces.
I was moved to write about this Psalm and these two verses because along with Spurgeon’s commentary it seems to fit the feelings and emotions many of us have about our own nation today – especially those of us who consider ourselves patriots of one sort or another. With this in mind, I will leave you with first with Spurgeon’s view of the Psalm as whole and then with the last few verses. Spurgeon writes, The whole composition may be compared to a day, which opening with wind and rain, clears up at noon and is warm with the sun, continues fine, with intervening showers, and finally closes with a brilliant sunset. And here we have verses 25-28
25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded.
27 But you remain the same, and your years will never end.
28 The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you.”
A brilliant sunset indeed.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for showing us that no matter how much we may grieve over our country as it is today, You are still in charge and will be forevermore. You have blessed us mightily with Your Son Jesusand we need to keep that foremost in our minds.– In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – PastorCalvary Chapel of Daytonin Beavercreek