A passage in Psalm 102 sounds as though the earth and the heavens are impermanent, that they will one day disappear, that only God will endure forever. This does not agree with the idea that the earth abides forever. Could it be possible that some other heaven and earth (other than the natural creation) could be referred to in this verse?
The passage in Psalm 102 seems definitely to refer to God the Creator. Verse 24 reads, “I said, O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days: Your years are throughout all generations.” This statement could be addressed to none other than God the great Creator. Then follows the passage in question: “Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same,
And Your years will have no end” (vs. 25-27).
We can also be quite certain of the application of this passage to God because of its being quoted in Hebrews 1, where the entire passage refers to God and speaks specifically of His creative ability. We read: “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail” (Heb. 1:10-12). For this reason, with so direct a reference to God, we must look for some other explanation to remove the seeming contradiction. For without question, the earth and the heavens are permanent. “The earth abides for ever” (Eccl. 1:4), and often the heavens and the earth are referred to as eternal, everlasting. Even the mountains are referred to as “the everlasting hills,” and “so long as the sun and the moon endure” is a phrase to describe the length of Christ’s rule, which is elsewhere said to be eternal (Ps. 72:5).
What could be the thought intended in the passage in Ps. 102:25? Very possibly the problem is in the translation. While most of the translations read very similarly to the King James, a few are different. The American Translation injects the thought of a possibility, to point up the eternal nature of God. It reads “They may perish, but Thou wilt endure; all of them may wear out like a garment; thou mayest change them like clothing and they will change; but Thou art always the same, and Thy years have no end” (Ps. 102:26, American Translation). The thought seems to be that even though they may perish, God is eternal–He is enduring beyond the most enduring part of His creation. Similar statements occur in Isa. 51:6; Jer. 31:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33.