Psalm 88

A Song.  A Psalm of the sons of Korah.  

To the Chief Musician.  Set to “Mahalath Leannoth.”  A Contemplation of Heman the Ezrahite.

1 O LORD, God of my salvation, I have cried out day and night before You.

2 Let my prayer come before You; incline Your ear to my cry.

3 For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to the grave.

4 I am counted with those who go down to the pit; I am like a man who has no strength,

5 Adrift among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom You remember no more, and who are cut off from Your hand.

6 You have laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the depths.

7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah

8 You have put away my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an abomination to them; I am shut up, and I cannot get out;

9 My eye wastes away because of affliction. LORD, I have called daily upon You; I have stretched out my hands to You.

10 Will You work wonders for the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise You? Selah

11 Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave? Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction?

12 Shall Your wonders be known in the dark? And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But to You I have cried out, O LORD, and in the morning my prayer comes before You.

14 LORD, why do You cast off my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me?

15 I have been afflicted and ready to die from my youth; I suffer Your terrors; I am distraught.

16 Your fierce wrath has gone over me; Your terrors have cut me off.

17 They came around me all day long like water; they engulfed me altogether.

18 Loved one and friend You have put far from me, and my acquaintances into darkness.


Two things stand out to me from this psalm.  First, in verses ten through twelve it asks if the wonders of God could be shown to the dead, if the dead could praise God.  The answer seems an obvious one, but didn’t Jesus, in the time between His death and resurrection do exactly that?  Descending into Hell, He preached deliverance to those held captive in Abraham’s Bosom, and lead them to their rightful place in Heaven. So the answer to the questions are a surprising YES!


The second thing that I noticed was the multiple references to being cut off from all friends and family and left alone in the dark.  It reminds me of Joseph in Pharaoh’s dungeon, alone and forgotten about, apparently even abandoned by the butler whom he had befriended and encouraged, but even then God was working unseen on his behalf and he was only twenty-four hours away from being the second most powerful person in the most powerful nation in the world, thus reaffirming that when a life is committed to God Almighty, there is no such thing as too late.

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