21 comments

    1. You are right, Jim, this is intriguing i.e. makes you ask questions in this cliffhanger and rare Psalm. There are many ways to view it and speculations arises like what kind of phobias the psalmist have and does he have PTSD of sort as he said, “they surrounded me like flood.” His pain in all these series of unfortunate events seems to be either a direct experience or experiences of people, particularly his nation that the MacArthur Study Bible points to, that he might have compiled and wrote into psalm. Too many questions and even lessons, one lesson that I like most is communicating/talking, pouring all frustration, and (to some extent) surrendering it to GOD like a child bringing it all to a parent (as the graphic suggest). Another is, even in hardship, he feared, loved, and is reverent to his LORD GOD who gave him salvation (v.1). GOD indeed listens and acts on it. We may know here but if not, definitely, we will know in Heaven. We will praise GOD and be grateful for His deliverance/grace than our past earthly circumstances with the new glofied body and perspective. The series ends here. A blessed Sunday to you, Nancy, and your kids!

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      1. Certainly I think you hit on something important: “ one lesson that I like most is communicating/talking, pouring all frustration, and (to some extent) surrendering it to GOD like a child bringing it all to a parent (as the graphic suggest).” Love this series!

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    2. What makes this psalm so fascinating is that the Psalmist has faith in God to cry out to Him. Psalmist never curses God or denounces God. We have all experienced times where God is silent where we know He hears us but isn’t answering us. I am very interested in hearing what you learn about this psalm!!!

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  1. The way this Psalm ends is one that we can all resonate with. We can resonate with darkness being our only companion. I think of Job and how he longed for his companions to be companions rather than salt in his festering wounds. I really think those who complied the Psalms but Psalm 89 next as one of hope to remind those that while Psalm 88 is a lament of epic proportions, Psalm 89 the psalmist sings of the Lord’s hesed (translated covenant faithfulness and steadfast love ESV). Psalm 89 is theologically rich in messianic prophecy and covenant language which this covenantal language was very much used in Psalm 88.

    I am thankful for this series. I am thankful, Kent for the effort you have to make the text come to life. This is not an easy psalm but one that should be read and known. Grief and anguish and despair are a part of life, yet believers are a people with hope. Like you and Jimmy I am praying that God will use this series and discussions to help those who are hurting turn to Jesus. Everyone will spend eternity somewhere. Darkness will be the final companion for those who meet their demise without Christ. With Christ is light and life everlasting. May the unsaved know Christ while their is still time!

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    1. Mandy, you are right about your earlier suggestion to follow-up 88 with Chapter 89 of the Book of Psalms, like darkness followed by light.; a debriefing from this Chapter is also needed. You are right also, it does resonate, especially on prayers that are still unanswered for a day (urgent ones), a week, or decades but we know that GOD answers in His perfect time and will for our good and His ultimate glory. Darkness, sometimes, the effect of repentance and changing of ways by following JESUS CHRIST may lead to isolation or losing friends etc. The MacArthur Study Bible commentary sees it as beyond the individual and i.e. the Kingdom of Israel at that time. You are right about the friends and wife of Job and how they advised him to do something that He did not because GOD the FATHER intervene. The psalmist did not curse GOD but remain reverent to the last verse in spite of the tone. In the end, this Chapter, in a simplistic way, is just like a kid releasing his anguish to his dad. But of course there are many lessons to it.

      Grateful to GOD for His leading and this series was next in the list. Thank you also for introducing. Also, thank you for informing me earlier on the verse that was not updated. I really enjoyed the exchanges. True, this is not an easy psalm to interpret, and we are grateful to the HOLY SPIRIT for guiding us. May our all our blog readers seek an everlasting life with the Triune GOD. GOD willing in JESUS CHRIST’s name. Amen.

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      1. Amen! I love how you used the image of the father and son to depict communication. That is powerful! I really like what MacArthur study sees it as the Kingdom of Israel, there is truth to that. Israel in her disobedience lost covenant blessing and suffered covenant consequences. Thank you for sharing that!!!

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        1. Grateful to GOD for that receiver-recipient picture of a father and son. It seems the child has finished pounding the father’s chest as he pours out his anguish, while the father still loves him (even) for that. Thank you Mandy! I can’t count how many times I’ve said/wrote thank you to you for the last six hours. You are right, because of disobedience, Israelites, as a whole , feels that way, so the psalmist mixed the micro and the macro (nation) or national sentiment.

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  2. The illustration you selected for these closing verses circled me back to verse 1 “O Lord, God of my salvation, I have cried out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before You; incline Your ear to my cry” and prompted me to reread the entire Psalm again. Next to verse 18, my Thompson Chain Bible references the words “loneliness & friendless” This picture perfectly illustrates how during the darkest of circumstances and the loneliest of times a child of God remains in the lap of the Father. It brought to mind a simple hymn called “We are not Alone.”

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    1. What a friend we have in JESUS, Beth that even in our loneliest times, He is there and we take it to the LORD in prayer. Yes, it also fits very well in the opening verses/lines of the prayer where we cry to GOD as His children; telling Him everything like a child that says it all without restraint but still polite though bordering. A parent (I presumed) will be happy if his/her child communicates with him/her on anything troublesome for the child than only knows about it when it is already late. GOD is happy and glorified when we talk/pray with Him in faith. Indeed, when we pray to GOD, we might not know it but He carries us in His loving arms; comforting us even sometimes when we don’t associate that”comfort” coming from Him. I tried searching for the song, “We are not Alone” but I can’t find it in YouTube; It only shows, among others, one of the secular songs that I like in recent years (You will be Found) probably because of its lyrics that is also relevant to this Psalm in a mundane way. Blessings to you and your family!

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      1. Yes, what a friend He is indeed!! Found & listened to “You will be Found” from the musical Dear Evan Hansen. A Biblical connection could easily be made to the lyrics. Would make for an interesting youth group lesson. We are Not Alone is a newer hymn. I stumbled across it years ago when listening to another hymn and fell in love with it instantly. I taught it to my children as the words are powerful and tune is catchy. It is based on Joshua 1:9. I’ll try to include a youtube link though not sure it will go through. You can also type in the youtube search- “We are Not Alone SE Samonte” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiIE9iikIZk

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        1. There is a movie on the musical coming this September. You are right, Beth if we equate it as being found by GOD ang giving the person strength to rise up as the person looks around for GOD, is connected to Psalm 88. Yes, your kids really like the beat and lyrics!
          There are many singers and group who have made it lively. The beat is encouraging indeed especially in this pandemic. Thank you for this link! I’ll listen and add it on my playlist based on yout review! A blessed week ahead!

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    1. You are right, Crissy! The Psalm has many lessons we can derived, and fear of GOD is one of those. The psalmist have fear and love of GOD that even when he was so angry of his or his country’s circumstances, he has a GOD-given ability to check it and not crossing the line of coursing Him who sustains him. Blessings to you and your ministry!

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