The solitariness in this psalm is palpable. The author is overwhelmed by a grief that was apparently caused by a rift in his relationship with God. But look at verses 18 to 21. The prisoner of solitariness and despair, can presumably be freed from all those evils.
The question one is tempted to ask is the same as the question the Ethiopian asked Philip in the book of Acts: Of whom does the prophet speak? Of himself? Or of someone else? Is this a psalm that speaks about Christ’s passion? One never knows when reading a psalm the exact prophetic meaning of the words, or when the writer is speaking of himself, or speaking prophetically of something else. However, it seems that much of this psalm is about Christ’s suffering — even if some of it might be applicable to King David’s life.
The psalm declares that this is a psalm that “a people to be created” will read. The people who will be a generation to be created. This could mean a future generation of Israelites. But the people of Israel were already created. It seems the psalm is speaking of a people who are a new creation, the mystery that is the church. This new Creation comes when the Lord will build up Zion. So it appears that the verse speaks of both a restoration of genetic Israel and a spiritual people who are also called “Zion.” It promises that the Lord will come in glory and will look upon the suffering, the destitute, the prisoner the oppressed, and those who are appointed to death.
1Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee.
2Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.
3For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.
4My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.
5By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin.
6I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.
7I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.
8Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me.
9For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping.
10Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down.
11My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.
12But thou, O LORD, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.
13Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.
14For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.
15So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
16When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.
17He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.
18This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.
19For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth;
20To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death;
21To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem;
22When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.
23He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days.
24I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.
25Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
26They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
27But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
28The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.