Psalm 88 is a haunting cry of desperation, uncharacteristically devoid of any expressions of hope or praise commonly found in other psalms. Authored by Heman the Ezrahite, this psalm uniquely portrays the depths of human suffering and despair. The psalmist feels abandoned by God and men, wrestling with overwhelming darkness and unanswered prayers. He speaks of being close to death, cut off from loved ones, and devoid of strength, appealing to God as the only one who can hear his cries. In its intense honesty, the psalm provides a space for grappling with the complexities of pain, loss, and the seeming silence of God. Unlike most other psalms that transition into hope or redemption, Psalm 88 ends on a somber note, leaving the reader in the tension of unresolved anguish, and yet offering a raw and authentic template for crying out to God from the depths of despair.

Psalm 88

1  (A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.) O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:

2  Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;

3  For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.

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

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

6  Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.

7  Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.

8  Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.

9  Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.

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

11  Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?

12  Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

13  But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.

14  LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?

15  I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.

16  Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.

17  They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together.

18  Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.

End of Psalm 88

1 Year Plan:  Aug 2 - Job 19, Job 20,  Ps 88 [next day]

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