By Becky Holland
You ever get depressed by something you read? Ever feel like you wished you hadn’t read something?
Well, after reading Psalm 88, I felt that way.
I know – the Bible promises us so many good things. The very fact that the Psalm 88 was written can make you go ‘Whoa.’
The words of the ‘prayer’ seem to be more of a whining than evident of the Lord’s good promises. Whomever it was that is the writer of this particular Psalm must have been kind of like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh – with a dark cloud over him.
In verses 1-18, it appears that this person is feeling very sorry for himself, feeling left out and feeling not cared about – even by God.
We have all vented about life and moaned and groaned about our own problems. Psalm 88 is from beginning to ending a complete lamentation of distress, disappointment and offers no thought of where to find comfort or even a smile.
Negativity and moaning is evident in various Bible verses, but Psalm 88 appears to be different. Talk about miserable.
Yet, even in this most miserable scripture – which is an illustration of someone suffering from his own sin – there is great benefit.
In this passage, we see, God is still God. How? Look at the the first verse – “O Lord, God of my salvation.” The writer realizes – no recognizes – that God is the only person, only being who can help him. Even with his complaints, and talking about how troubled he is (see Verse 3) in. He talks about God’s wrath. Other things he mentions points toward the man recognizing his own sin and the consequences of his sin – guilt, pain and feelings of distress.
The scripture shows us that sin is the worst suffering we can face. Nothing – cancer, financial disorder, divorce, etc … tragedy ….. – relates as painful as sin. In verse 8, the writer talks about being shut up and he cannot get out.
As Warren E. Berkley pointed out in his own explanation of Psalm 88, ‘There is something basic we must learn about sin. The Bible teaches – Sin is a personal problem we cannot solve on our own.’
Psalm 88 shows just how it is to be living and suffering because of our own sin. It is an example of what we don’t want to do or how we don’t want to live.
Even with it being called the saddest Psalm – Psalm 88 offers some important insight to living life as God would have us too, and how sinners live life. But also, it gives us a little bit of hope – no matter how bad it gets – God is still on the throne.
Even this writer, who was deemed living as a sinner and having a horrible time, called out for God. He recognized God was there and important. Look at verses 10-12. Warren E. Berkley pointed out these verses showed that God is able to work wonders, He can raise the dead and He is worthy of praise. God is called faithful and loving and kind.
The writer shows that God is important and very able to do all sorts of things. Therefore, this makes the point – if this writer can see this and affirm this and believe this about God, then all sinners can change. We can repent.
So, even with sin being as bad as it is, and we know that we can’t get out of it ourselves, we still have the opportunity to get better – all we have to do is call out to God.
And there, in the middle of the most negative – Psalm 88 – there is a chance, there is hope.
Berkley said, “Nobody needs to experience the misery described in Psalms 88. If you know who Christ is, what He did – and you believe in Him – no reason to live in the deep pit of sin; no reason to let disobedience to God ruin your life. If you are willing to act on your belief in Christ – in obedience to the gospel – you can be raised from that ugly pit out of sin, and into Christ.”
And there you go, Mom.
Not totally my thoughts, but thoughts and words from research into the scriptures you asked me to look into.