These next two Psalms are back to the present. These two chapters each give us guidance on how we are to face the "here and now". Let’s take a moment to summarize both of these Psalms.
Psalm 101 is about human leadership. David wrote it, and it appears to be his coronation speech. In effect the Psalm is saying, "I (David) have been called by God to be a leader over my people and here is what I should do in order to properly rule over my people".
The idea for leaders is the reminder that God is ultimately in charge and one day Jesus Himself will be the perfect leader over the world. In the meantime, we as people (not just leaders) have to make the best decisions possible and look to God's guidance through prayer and His word as to how to live our lives.
Psalm 102 deals with suffering. Although we are not told who the human author is, this Psalm seems to be saying in effect, "God, if You love me so much, why are You allowing me to go through so much suffering?" The good news is that this Psalm is not just a bunch of complaining. It also talks about seeing our problems from His perspective.
The underlying point of this Psalm is about perspective. It is to ask us in effect, "Is God in charge of our lives or not?" If He is, then we have to trust Him even during the worst of times as this Psalm is describing. If we do trust Him, then we must have faith that such bad times will not go on forever, even though we may not be able to see an end of what we are dealing with at that moment in time.
We must never forget that God does care about us in our lives and whatever our lives entail. He wants to guide us through our issues if we are willing to trust Him to do so. That ties well to Psalm 102.
God also wants us to remember that if He has gotten us through "yesterday’s trials", He promises to guide us through our present and future trials as well.
With that said, let me tie these two Psalms together and hopefully explain where we are going in this lesson: Psalm 101 reminds us who is really in charge of our lives (God). Psalm 102 then reminds us that He allows difficulties in our lives in order to keep us close to Him.
Interestingly this fourth book of the Psalms ties well to the fourth book of the Bible, Numbers. The underlying concept of both books is about learning to trust God with every aspect of our lives. We could summarize as follows. The first Psalm (101) in this lesson deals with trusting God as our leader over our lives. The second Psalm (102) in this lesson deals with trusting Him through the difficult times of our lives.
The title that hangs over Psalm 101 is "Of David. A Psalm". This is the first Psalm we have had by David in a good while. His name will appear on and off through the next few Psalms. The theme of this Psalm is about being a good leader and that is why scholars believe it was designed for David’s coronation. Even if scholars are wrong about that point, it is true this Psalm is about the desire to be led by God and make the best decisions we can, knowing that God rules over our lives.
This Psalm also hints of the fact that no human ruler is perfect and we won't get perfect leadership over our lives until Jesus Himself comes back to rule.