Saturday 20 January, 2018

Psalm 88

For the director of music. According to mahalath leannoth. A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. A maskil of Heman the Ezrahite. 1 Lord, you are the God who saves me. Day and night I cry out to you. 2 Please hear my prayer. Pay attention to my cry for help. 3 I have so many troubles I’m about to die. 4 People think my life is over. I’m like someone who doesn’t have any strength. 5 People treat me as if I were dead. I’m like those who have been killed and are now in the grave. You don’t even remember them anymore. They are cut off from your care. 6 It’s as if you have put me deep down in the grave. It’s as if you have put me in that deep, dark place. 7 Your great anger lies heavy on me. All the waves of your anger have crashed over me. 8 You have taken my closest friends away from me. You have made me sickening to them. I feel trapped and can’t escape. 9 I’m crying so much I can’t see very well. Lord, I call out to you every day. I lift up my hands to you in prayer. 10 Do you do wonderful things for those who are dead? Do their spirits rise up and praise you? 11 Do those who are dead speak about your love? Do those who are in the grave tell how faithful you are? 12 Are your wonderful deeds known in that dark place? Are your holy acts known in that land where the dead are forgotten? 13 Lord, I cry out to you for help. In the morning I pray to you. 14 Lord, why do you say no to me? Why do you turn your face away from me? 15 I’ve been in pain ever since I was young. I’ve been close to death. You have made me suffer terrible things. I have lost all hope. 16 Your great anger has swept over me. Your terrors have destroyed me. 17 All day long they surround me like a flood. They have closed in all around me. 18 You have taken my friends and neighbors away from me. Darkness is my closest friend.

It is said that this is the darkest, saddest psalm of all the Psalms.

When I read this Psalm, I walked away with so heavy a heart that I do not wish to read this Psalm again…. How can anyone possibly go through such grief, distress with no one to turn to? Even the closest of friends have abandoned him. Tears, sorrow and hopelessness come crashing like waves; never ending.

What has this man done to deserve all these? God and men have totally abandoned him.

As I read this Psalm, I am reminded of the time when our Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross. It was ‘darkest day’ of His life. It was the time when the sin of the whole world was laid on Him. All his closest friends have deserted him, even God His Father has abandoned him.

“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means , “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

As I reread this Psalm with the mental picture of Jesus dying on the cross for me, I cannot but thank the Son of God for His ultimate sacrifice. He was condemned, punished and abandoned so that I am made clean. When the Son of God gave His life for us, what should our response be? How should we live our lives that is pleasing to Him?

Lord Jesus, you are the King of Glory. Yet you are willing to give up your Heavenly throne to die a criminal death for me. Who am I to deserve this ? What kind of God are you? to touch and reach out to a sinful race. I am grateful. I am thankful. I am willing to follow such a Wonderful God whole heartedly. Thank you for loving me….

Written by Shin Liu

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