Whispering Hope


 And so the LORD ’s fame will be celebrated in Zion, his praises in Jerusalem, when multitudes gather together and kingdoms come to worship the LORD
~Psalm 102:21-22, NLT


Hope can see through the darkest clouds.
~Thomas Brooks

We don’t know who wrote Psalm 102 but we know it was written after the Babylonians destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem. Verse 8 tells me that it was written by one of the exiles. This was a dark and difficult time for the Jews. They had been uprooted from their beloved land and exiled to Babylon. God’s word was silent: no formal worship and no sermons. God’s house lay in ruins and so did the holy city of Jerusalem. A city that the Jews thought was indestructible. The glory of God was veiled and on the surface, things seemed hopeless but this tenacious Jew, though discouraged was not about to throw in the towel. The destruction of the Temple and City had taken its toll on the writer: he was physically sick from the grief that he suffered. He was so sick at heart that he had lost his appetite. He as too discouraged to eat but not to pray. His pray lead to praise and he began to celebrate the fact that God is immutable. The Psalmist was anxious about his life: he felt certain that he would die before he saw the City and the Temple restored. He understood that God is not working on our time table and that one day, whether he lived to see it or not, the LORD would be worshiped in Jerusalem and not by Jews alone, but by the kingdoms of the word. He said in verses 16-17,  For the LORD will rebuild Jerusalem. He will appear in His glory. He will listen to the prayers of the destitute. He will not reject their pleas.

As we look back, we do not know if the author of this Psalm lived to see the new Temple but we do know that God answered his prayer. Jerusalem was rebuilt, the Temple was rebuilt and the LORD indeed appeared in the Temple in the person of Jesus Christ. Isn’t that something: God answered his prayer 400 years later. Ironically, the Psalm begins with this prayer, LORD, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea! Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to you. The good news is: The LORD answers prayer. The bad news is: He seldom gets in a hurry. I write prayers all the time. At least one a day and sometimes more. I have them stored in shoe boxes and journals. I am making Josie a prayer book now: it is a process that will take months. When I go back and pick up an old shoe box of prayers and begin reading them, I am amazed. Folks, God answers prayer: He just doesn’t get in a hurry. Don’t give up and do not stop praying. No matter how black the clouds or fierce the storm, don’t give in to despair: keep praying. Every prayer counts.

  • We had a water line to break yesterday evening and I thought I could get it fixed before church but no such luck. I didn’t get it fixed, just plugged. I am caller a plummer this morning. I’m too old to mess with it.
  • Johnny and Betty have a beautiful home and they had enough food to feed Morgan County. I love the layout. They have a bathroom that is actually bigger than our bed room. I kid you, not!
  • Had a ball at Lebanon. Bobby Anders has been a dear friend for years but I didn’t know Mr. Dobbs that well until I began filling in for Randy. He is a good man and I have enjoyed working with him. Everyone there has been very gracious to June and I. I’m kind of disappointed to see it end.
  • I had turnips greens and corn bread for supper last night. The greens are out of our garden. It you need greens, peppers or squash; come over here and help yourself. June may even give you the peas if you pick them.
  • Our LCBS lesson was on the paranormal and it was a good lesson. I could not get over some of the statistics: 55% believe that psychics have real power. Saturday was proof that no one knows the future. Vandy beat K-State, Mississippi State pounded LSWho, Alabama’s defense couldn’t stop an unranked opponent from getting first down after first down. If psychics knew the future, they could have made a fortune Saturday but they don’t know. No one knows the future.

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