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Psalm 88

June 4, 2009

This psalm is written by a person who is near death and has lived a life experiencing the wrath of God more so than the blessings of God. He is looking for words of comfort and assurance from God but there is no indication that he received such immediately.

The psalmist begins by acknowledging God as the One who has the power to save him. He is desperate for an answer. He is calling on God continuously day and night to hear his prayer of penitence and offer him assurance before he dies.

The psalmist admits his life has not been considered Godly or God-fearing. The people who know him have written him off as destined for hell. In fact, they already consider him as dead and not worth caring for or loving. The psalmist feels the heat and feels abandoned by his “friends” and by God. His prayer is one of desperation. His only hope is God hearing his prayer and answering. It appears in verse 8 as if he has been afflicted with an infectious disease, perhaps leprosy.

The psalmist continues faithfully to call on God. He wants to be saved and he wants to know what awaits after death. Will he see God’s wonders? Will he continue to praise and worship God? Will he experience God’s love? Will God pass judgment on the works of man? The psalmist wants to know the future.

He continues to cry out to God and he continues to feel God has rejected him. He evidently has been sickly all his life. That has been his life. Now his friends have left him for dead and he senses darkness and death.

This is a sad psalm in that there is no indication that God offered him hope and assurance in this time of need. Perhaps he was not truly penitent. Perhaps God did hear him and answered but he did not hear God because he was too focused on his own condition. Perhaps he was selfish, seeking what he needed but failing to use his circumstances to minister to others. We can only guess. But we do know from God’s Word that God does hear the penitent and answer. God will save those who call upon His Name. More than likely this man was saved and met God face to face. He just didn’t hear God answering. Take time to be still and quiet before the Lord. Don’t let you current sorrows drown out God’s message of hope and assurance.

There is another lesson and that is not to forsake our friends in time of need. Words of hope and assurance from God are needed more and more as we approach our end on earth. God offers the hope of heaven to all who believe on Him. Don’t pass up an opportunity to be God’s voice to others in their time of need.

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