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Psalm 88

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We would all probably hope never to feel like we can relate to this psalm- it’s grim from first to last. It sounds more like a wail than a song. It begins: O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:
Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;
For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.(v1-3)
God seems distant when hard times overwhelm us:
Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.
Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. (v6,7)
Deep in despair, we can feel that God is disinterested: LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?(v14)
On to the last verse, and still no relief: Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.(v18) Now what? There’s nowhere to go, nothing that alleviates our sorrow.
Thankfully, we know that our God weeps with us (John 11:35), and suffers with us- that brings solace. Can you imagine a God who remained distant from our distress?

1{A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.} O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:
2Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;
3For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.
4I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:
5Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.
6Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.
7Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.
8Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
9Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.
10Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.
11Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?
12Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
13But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
14LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?
15I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.
16Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.
17They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together.
18Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.

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