For He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death (Psalm 102:19,20).
Ever since man went into space, he has changed his perspective of his home here on Earth. Each of us has seen pictures of the amazing blue and white orb as an object at a distance and not as a surrounding landscape. Throughout time we have contemplated the moon, but the earth we now admire and respect for its amazing fitness for life. In a different manner God looks down, not from the moon or a satellite, but from His heaven, and beholds the earth. And what does He see as He looks down (v.19)?
He sees the lost! While we are caught up in the awesomeness of the planet, He is concerned for the prisoner who cries out in his misery for release. Each of us has known the pressure and restraint of our limitations in this present life. Some have suffered close confinement, others house arrest, still others psychological fetters that make us long for total release, fresh air, open space. He longs to hear our prayers and will not despise them (v.17). His desire is to loose those that are scheduled for death, to deliver them from the decay that is inevitable. As a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed (v.26).
This psalm was written for us and any who shall praise the Lord (v.18). He gives us access to the Creator of heaven and earth, and in so doing He encourages us, as with all generations, to focus on His enduring nature. We have ample evidence that we are withering as the grass and our days are declining. But there is deliverance and His servants shall continue, and our children will be established before Him (vv.26,28). It takes a heavenly view to enable us to realize our frailty. KBC