Answer desired

Psalms 102:2
Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress;
Incline Your ear to me;
In the day when I call answer me quickly.

Study

EXPOSITION

Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble.

Do not seem as if You didn’t see me, or would’nt own me.
Smile now at any rate. Reserve your frowns for other times when I can bear them better, if, indeed, I can ever bear them; but now in my heavy distress, favor me with looks of compassion.

Incline Your ear unto me.

Bow Your greatness to my weakness.
If because of sin Your face is turned away, at least let me have a side view of You, lend me Your ear if I may not see Your eyes.
Turn yourself to me again if, my sin has turned you away, give to your ear an inclination to my prayers.

In the day when I call answer me speedily.

Because the case is urgent, and my soul little able to wait.
▪︎ We may ask to have answers to prayer as soon as possible, but we may not complain of the Lord if he should think it more wise to delay.
▪︎ We have permission to request and to use importunity, but no right to dictate or to be petulant. If it be important that the deliverance should arrive at once, we are quite right in making an early time a point of our entreaty, for God is as willing to grant us a favour now as to-morrow, and he is not slack concerning his promise.

It is a proverb concerning favors from human hands, that “he gives twice who gives quickly,” because a gift is enhanced in value by arriving in a time of urgent necessity; and we may be sure that our heavenly Patron will grant us the best gifts in the best manner, granting us grace to help in time of need.
When answers come upon the heels of our prayers they are all the more striking, more consoling, and more encouraging.

In these two verses the psalmist has gathered up a variety of expressions all to the same effect; in them all he entreats an audience and answer of the Lord, and the whole may be regarded as a sort of preface to the prayer which follows.

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Incline thine ear unto me.

The great exhaustion of the affiicted one is hinted at: so worn out is he, that he is hardly able to cry anymore, but with a faint voice only feebly mutters, like a weak sick man, whose voice if we would catch, we must incline the ear.
— Martin Geier.

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

▪︎ Prayer in trouble is most needed.
▪︎ Prayer in trouble is most heeded.
▪︎ Prayer in trouble is most speeded: “Answer me speedily.”

Or,

▪︎ Prayer in trouble: “In the day,” etc.
▪︎ The prayer of trouble: “Hide not thy face;” not remove the trial, but be with me in it. A fiery furnace is a paradise when God is with us there.
— G. R.

Verse 2. (first clause).
He deprecates the loss of the divine countenance when under trouble.

▪︎ That would intensify it a thousandfold.
▪︎ That would deprive him of strength to bear the trouble.
▪︎ That would prevent his acting so as to glorify God in the trouble.
▪︎ That might injure the result of the trouble.

Verse 2. (last clause).
We often need to be answered speedily.

▪︎ God can so answer.
▪︎ God has so answered.
▪︎ God has promised so to answer.

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Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble

Your Shechinah, as the Targum
When God hides his face at any time from his people, it is a trouble to them, and very grievous; but especially when they are in any other trouble besides; it is very afflicting, indeed, when to their outward trouble this is added, which was Job’s case, (Job 23:1-3)

Incline thine ear unto me

Condescend, in great grace and goodness, to stoop and bow thine ear, and listen to the voice of my supplication

In the day when I call answer me speedily

Good men are always for speedy answers of prayer; they would have them the day, the hour, the moment they are calling upon God: sometimes answers are returned as soon, (Isaiah 65:24) , the case of the psalmist was very distressing, and, as he thought at least, required haste, and therefore requests a speedy answer.

Twitter: @SchoemakerHarry
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