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Psalms 88

Pslm 88, Ps 88, Psa 88, Psm 88, Pss 88

Psalms 88

1 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.

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Summary and the meaning of Psalm 88 from the KJV Holy Bible

Psalm 88 is one of the most emotionally charged Psalms in the Bible, filled with a raw and unfiltered expression of despair and suffering. It is a lamentation of the psalmist, believed to be Heman the Ezrahite, who pours out his soul to God, expressing deep feelings of abandonment, sorrow, and loneliness. Unlike many other Psalms, it does not conclude with a note of hope or assurance in God's deliverance, making it unique and deeply moving.

The Theme of Suffering and Despair

The primary theme of Psalm 88 is suffering and despair. The psalmist is in deep distress, feeling as if he is on the brink of death. He feels surrounded by troubles and perceives that God's wrath is upon him. This Psalm does not shy away from expressing the rawness of these feelings, providing a vivid portrayal of the depths of human suffering.

The psalmist repeatedly pleads with God, crying out day and night for His attention. He feels overwhelmed by his afflictions and abandoned by his friends, which intensifies his sense of isolation and despair. His pain is so profound that he likens himself to the dead, those who are forgotten and cut off from God's care.

The Theme of God's Apparent Silence

Another significant theme in Psalm 88 is God's apparent silence in the face of the psalmist's suffering. Despite his desperate pleas and continual prayer, there is no divine intervention or comfort. The psalmist feels rejected by God, adding to his sense of despair. His afflictions are seen as evidence of God's wrath, and he questions why God would cast off his soul and hide His face from him.

This theme of God's apparent silence is not unique to Psalm 88 but is a common experience in the human condition. It addresses a fundamental question many people face: Where is God in the midst of suffering? The psalmist's honest expression of his feelings of abandonment by God resonates with many who have experienced similar situations.

The Theme of Hope in the Midst of Despair

While Psalm 88 is predominantly a lament and expression of despair, there is an underlying thread of hope. This hope is not explicitly stated, as in other Psalms, but can be inferred from the psalmist's persistent prayer and his recognition of God as his salvation. Despite his feelings of abandonment, the psalmist continues to cry out to God, indicating a deep-rooted faith and hope in God's ability to deliver him.

The psalmist's continued prayer in the face of apparent divine silence can be seen as an act of profound faith and hope. Even in his suffering, he continues to reach out to God, believing in His power to save. This subtle theme of hope underscores the human capacity for resilience and faith in the midst of despair.

The Meaning and Relevance of Psalm 88

Psalm 88 holds profound meaning and relevance for believers. It provides an honest and raw depiction of human suffering, acknowledging the depths of despair that individuals can experience. It does not gloss over the reality of pain and suffering but provides a voice for those in the midst of it.

The psalmist's feelings of abandonment by God may resonate with those who have felt the silence of God in their suffering. It provides a platform for expressing these feelings and validates the experience of divine silence. In doing so, it offers a form of solace, showing that such feelings are not unique but part of the human experience.

The psalmist's persistent prayer, despite his feelings of abandonment, is a testament to his faith. It serves as an encouragement for believers to continue to hope and trust in God, even in the midst of suffering and apparent divine silence. It underscores the importance of faith and resilience, and the power of prayer.

In conclusion, Psalm 88 is a powerful expression of human suffering and despair, coupled with a deep-seated faith and hope in God. It validates the experience of divine silence and provides a voice for those in the midst of suffering. Despite its somber tone, it serves as a testament to human resilience and the enduring power of faith and hope.

This article is informed by the King James Version of the Holy Bible, the authors' personal knowledge, considerations and experience, and additional materials and resources available in internet.

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