Bible Reading: Psalm 88

Psalm 88

O Lord, the God of my salvation, I have cried out by day and in the night before You. 2 Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my cry! 3 For my soul has had enough troubles, And my life has drawn near to Sheol. 4 I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man without strength, 5 Forsaken among the dead, Like the slain who lie in the grave, Whom You remember no more, And they are cut off from Your hand. 6 You have put me in the lowest pit, In dark places, in the depths. 7 Your wrath has rested upon me, And You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah. 8 You have removed my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an object of loathing to them; I am shut up and cannot go out. 9 My eye has wasted away because of affliction; I have called upon You every day, O Lord; I have spread out my hands to You. 10 Will You perform wonders for the dead? Will the departed spirits rise and praise You? Selah. 11 Will Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave, Your faithfulness in Abaddon? 12  Will Your wonders be made known in the darkness? And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? 13 But I, O Lord, have cried out to You for help, And in the morning my prayer comes before You. 14 O Lord, why do You reject my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me? 15 I was afflicted and about to die from my youth on; I suffer Your terrors; I am overcome. 16 Your burning anger has passed over me; Your terrors have destroyed me. 17 They have surrounded me like water all day long; They have encompassed me altogether. 18 You have removed lover and friend far from me; My acquaintances are in darkness.

Help, Lord! One of our most frequent prayers is ‘Help!’ It is also one of the most common prayers in the Bible. It is a prayer you can pray every day. God’s desire is for you to have a relationship with him that is real and from the heart.

This psalm describes a situation that we might find ourselves, “deeply troubled.” The psalmist is undergoing great suffering. His ‘soul is full of trouble.’  He thinks he is going to die: ‘I’m camped on the edge of hell ... a hopeless case. Abandoned as already dead.’ He has even lost the support of his closest friends.

We all know how hurtful rejection can be.  Especially when it comes from someone we love or someone very close to us. Broken relationships are painful – particularly when we feel we have been ‘dumped’ by a loved one, or a close friend. The psalmist feels the only friend he has left is darkness.

He says, ‘For as long as I remember I’ve been hurting.’ The situation seems like one of utter hopelessness.  I even feel rejected by God! Does this sound familiar?

Then may we take heart, may we find hope!  Just as the psalmist knows that only God can save him!  However bad your situation may feel, you can cry out to God for freedom. ‘O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry’ (88.1–2).

Weekly Memory Verse:  How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts!  My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.  Psalm 84:1-2