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1 A song or Psalme for the sonnes of Korah, to the chiefe Musician vpon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite. O Lord God of my saluation, I haue cried day and night before thee.

2 Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine eare vnto my cry.

3 For my soule is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh vnto the graue.

4 I am counted with them that go downe into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength.

5 Free among the dead, like the slaine that lie in the graue, whom thou remembrest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.

6 Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit: in darkenesse, in the deepes.

7 Thy wrath lieth hard vpon me: and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waues. Selah.

8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance farre from mee: thou hast made me an abomination vnto them: I am shut vp, and I cannot come forth.

9 Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction, Lord, I haue called daily vpon thee: I haue stretched out my hands vnto thee.

10 Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shal the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.

11 Shall thy louing kindnesse be declared in the graue? or thy faithfulnesse in destruction?

12 Shall thy wonders be knowen in the darke? and thy righteousnesse in the land of forgetfulnesse?

13 But vnto thee haue I cried, O Lord, and in the morning shall my prayer preuent thee.

14 Lord, why castest thou off my soule? why hidest thou thy face from me?

15 I am afflicted and ready to die, from my youth vp: while I suffer thy terrours, I am distracted.

16 Thy fierce wrath goeth ouer me: thy terrours haue cut me off.

17 They came round about mee daily like water: they compassed mee about together.

18 Louer and friend hast thou put farre from me: and mine acquaintance into darkenesse.

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Commentary for Psalms 88

The psalmist pours out his soul to God in lamentation. (1-9) He wrestles by faith, in his prayer to God for comfort. (10-18)

1-9 The first words of the psalmist are the only words of comfort and support in this psalm. Thus greatly may good men be afflicted, and such dismal thoughts may they have about their afflictions, and such dark conclusion may they make about their end, through the power of melancholy and the weakness of faith. He complained most of God's displeasure. Even the children of God's love may sometimes think themselves children of wrath and no outward trouble can be so hard upon them as that. Probably the psalmist described his own case, yet he leads to Christ. Thus are we called to look unto Jesus, wounded and bruised for our iniquities. But the wrath of God poured the greatest bitterness into his cup. This weighed him down into darkness and the deep.

10-18 Departed souls may declare God's faithfulness, justice, and lovingkindness; but deceased bodies can neither receive God's favours in comfort, nor return them in praise. The psalmist resolved to continue in prayer, and the more so, because deliverance did not come speedily. Though our prayers are not soon answered, yet we must not give over praying. The greater our troubles, the more earnest and serious we should be in prayer. Nothing grieves a child of God so much as losing sight of him; nor is there any thing he so much dreads as God's casting off his soul. If the sun be clouded, that darkens the earth; but if the sun should leave the earth, what a dungeon would it be! Even those designed for God's favours, may for a time suffer his terrors. See how deep those terrors wounded the psalmist. If friends are put far from us by providences, or death, we have reason to look upon it as affliction. Such was the calamitous state of a good man. But the pleas here used were peculiarly suited to Christ. And we are not to think that the holy Jesus suffered for us only at Gethsemane and on Calvary. His whole life was labour and sorrow; he was afflicted as never man was, from his youth up. He was prepared for that death of which he tasted through life. No man could share in the sufferings by which other men were to be redeemed. All forsook him, and fled. Oftentimes, blessed Jesus, do we forsake thee; but do not forsake us, O take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Psalms 88

  • Jenny coston
    i think this is a good chapter .
  • A smith
    What scripture in the Bible advising us not to visit the grave
  • Leigh
    I find that it helps to click the Discussion link above and read the Commentary by Matthew Henry. For Psalms 88 he points us to the savior's abandonment and suffering for us.
  • Rayshersd
    Dont live that and if you do something wrong god to forgive you but you have to mean it sincerely from the heart and go to church after this youll see a change
  • Brenda Harcleroad
    My Mother went through a long painful illness.
    One day I said,"Mother, I feel like God has forgotten us." Mother said,"I claim God as my Father, Jesus as my Savior ,
  • Ben
    I don't see the redemption here. My mother showed me this about a month before she died of cancer. She said, "this is how I feel." A profoundly religious person who knew she would soon be taken from her young kids, she felt the despair in this Psalm, and I sat down on the stairs and cried. I think it is an honest account of feeling abandoned with no answer

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