A troublesome psalm from a troubled soul

moma

Psalm 88

Psa. 88:10-13 Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise up to praise you? Selah Is your steadfast love declared in the grave, or your faithfulness in Abaddon? Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?   But I, O LORD, cry out to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.

And that is the happy bit. The psalm ends:

Psa. 88:13-18 But I, O LORD, cry out to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. O LORD, why do you cast me off? Why do you hide your face from me? Wretched and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am desperate. Your wrath has swept over me; your dread assaults destroy me. They surround me like a flood all day long; from all sides they close in on me. You have caused friend and neighbor to shun me; my companions are in darkness.

Again, the minimum I take from this is that it is ok to complain to God, to be honest with him about our doubts and fears, to call for justice where we feel there is none. The psalmist here is clearly one who is depressed, ill, yet faithful and desperate for God to draw near. A majority of all psalms are ones of complaint or lament. That shouldn’t surprise us; do we not all at some point find ourselves here?

 

 

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