Psalms 88:1



The Bible says in Psalm 88:1-2, “O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:[2] Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;” Obviously, this Psalmist was a person of prayer. The reason that he prayed is found in the first phrase: he called the Lord “God of my salvation.” You cannot really pray unless you know the Lord Jesus as Savior. Once you come to know Him, the avenue is opened up between your soul and the God. That is why we are reminded in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”


The Psalmist is doing a lot of praying because he says to God at the end of verse one: “I have cried day and night before thee.” Every believer should be a person of prayer because we know that the Lord answers prayer, and we know that He is all powerful. Jesus answered our prayer when we asked Him to save our soul, and so we know that He will answer all the other prayers that we make to Him too.


Why was the Psalmist praying so earnestly? It sounds like the Psalmist was experiencing a time in his life that was similar to Job. Life can be like that. We never know what can come against us. Things change, and once in a while they go from bad to worse. It says in Psalm 88:3-5, “For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.[4] I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:[5] Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.” Life can be hard. There is a lot of suffering going on here. Look at the phrases used by the Psalmist as he describes himself: “full of troubles,” “nigh unto the grave,” “down into the pit,” “no strength,” “among the dead,” and “like the slain that lie in the grave.” And then worse than all that: it is as though God had forgotten him. Thankfully, that will never happen. The Lord Jesus promised: “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee


The Bible says in Psalm 88:6-8, “Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.[7] Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.[8] Thou 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.” The Psalmist was correct about one thing: whatever he was suffering came from God. God laid him “in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.” God wrath was “hard upon” him. God “afflicted” him. God made him “an abomination” to his friends and family. God is involved in all things. Whatever has been brought your way, God brought it or God allowed it for a reason. That is why it says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God and to them that are the called according to His purpose.” If God brought something unpleasant your way, only God can get you out. The Psalmist knew this, and that is why he is praying. The Psalmist knew that he could not fix his problems, and so he said at the end of verse eight, “I cannot.”


The Bible says in Psalm 88:9, “Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.” When you are going through a difficult time, the key to getting through it properly and successfully is found in this verse when the Psalmist said, “I have called daily upon thee.” Seek the Lord no matter if you suffer. Seek the Lord even though your troubles keep enduring. Seek the Lord even when you have no answer. You will be able to do it if you desire a relationship with the Lord more than anything else. Perhaps that is one reason that the trials of Job come upon you: to show you where you are in your faith and in your walk with Jesus.


The Bible says in Psalm 88:10-12, “Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.[11] Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?[12] Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” The Psalmist is suffering so much that he thinks the only possible next thing that can happen to him is death, and then he is talking to God about death. In these questions we see reasons to live and reasons that God does give us life. We live in order to observe and enjoy God’s “wonders.” We live in order to “praise” God. We live in order to hear about and to proclaim God’s “lovingkindness” and “faithfulness.” We experience God’s love through the Lord Jesus, and then because we have the Holy Spirit within us, we desire to witness for Christ. Only the living can do that. If God keeps you alive, and He is doing that every day, that means that He wants you to notice His wonders, praise Him, appreciate His lovingkindness and faithfulness, and tell others about His lovingkindness and faithfulness. 


The Bible says in Psalm 88:13, “But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.” No matter how bad things get, we always have this one recourse: we can pray. We want to pray “in the morning.” Make sure that you start your day with prayer. We need Him every moment of every day, so get off to a good start by praying to Him and trusting in Him right away.


The Bible says in Psalm 88:14-18, “LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?[15] I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.[16] Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.[17] They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together.[18] Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.” These verses have ideas that are similar to what was expressed earlier in this Psalm. The Psalmist is suffering greatly, and he things that death must be next for him because things are so bad in his life. Even his friends have forsaken him, and the Psalmist knows that God has allowed all this into his life. But in verse fifteen the Psalmist adds the following: “I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up.” Many people have had bad experiences in their youth. How do we get over such things? Do what the Psalmist did: turn to the Lord and tell Him about it. Put everything in God’s hands. One of the benefits of being a Christian is that you can have a new life in Christ. You can learn to look forward to following the Lord in your life and then eventually arriving in heaven, and you can even learn to forget the bad things that have happened to you. Christians are told in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”      







Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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