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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

Psalms 88

Verses 1-18

Psalms 88:1-18 is just a sad psalm, all the way through. There just seems to be no hope; it's just miserable. When you really are feeling lower than low, and you think there is absolutely no way out, there's no answer, this is it, this is the end, then you can read Psalms 88:1-18 . And you can, you know... it'll say, well, yes, that's right. I have, man, that's... I'm there, you know.

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 trouble: and my life draws near to the grave. I am counted with them that go down to the pit: I am as a man that has no strength: Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom you remember no more: and they are cut off from your hand. You have laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, and in the deeps. Your wrath lies hard upon me, and you've afflicted me with all the waves. You have put away my acquaintance far from me; you have made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. My eye mourns by reason of the affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto you. Will you show wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Shall your lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or your faithfulness in destruction? Shall your wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. LORD, why do you cast off my soul? why do you hide your face from me? I am afflicted, I'm ready to die from my youth up: and while I suffer your terrors I am distracted. Your fierce wrath goes over me; your terrors have cut me off. They came round about me daily like water; they encircled me all about together. Lover and friend have you put far from me, and my acquaintance into darkness ( Psalms 88:1-18 ).

Not even a glimmer of hope. Most of the psalms that start out like this at the last it says, "But I know, Lord, that You will deliver Your servant, you know. And those that call upon Thee," and all. And usually the last verse, even in some of these dismal psalms, there's a little light at the end of the tunnel, but not here. This thing starts in the dark and ends in the dark. It just he's down and he's not going to come out of it during this psalm. It's just one of complete... it's a total downer. So you might just inscribe that one, "the total downer."

But you come out into the next psalm and you're singing. "

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 88". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.