The Psalms

Psalm 88

A prayer containing a grievous complaint, 1-18.

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 you.

Let my prayer come before you./
Incline your ear to my cry,

For my soul is full of troubles/
and my life draws near to the grave.

I am counted with those who go down into the pit./
I am as a man who has no strength,

Free among the dead,/
like the slain who lie in the grave,/
whom you no longer remember,/
and they are cut off from your hand.

You have laid me in the lowest pit,/
in darkness, in the deeps.

Your wrath lies hard upon me,/
and you have afflicted me with all your waves./

You have put away my acquaintances far from me./
You have made me an abomination to them./
I am shut up and I cannot come forth.

My eye mourns by reason of affliction./
LORD, I have called daily upon you./
I have stretched out my hands to you.

10 Will you show wonders to the dead?/
Shall the dead arise and praise you?/

11 Shall your loving-kindness be declared in the grave,/
or your faithfulness in destruction?

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

13 But to you I have cried, O LORD,/
and in the morning my prayer shall come before you.

14 LORD, why do you cast off my soul?/
Why do you hide your face from me?

15 I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up./
While I suffer your terrors I am distracted.

16 Your fierce wrath goes over me./
Your terrors have cut me off.

17 They came around me daily like water./
They encompassed me together.

18 You have put loved one and friend far from me/
and my acquaintances into darkness.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 88[➚]


John Calvin's Chapter Summary:

This psalm contains very grievous lamentations, poured forth by its inspired penman when under very severe affliction, and almost at the point of despair. But he, at the same time, whilst struggling with sorrow, declares the invincible steadfastness of his faith; which he displayed in calling upon God to deliver him, even when he was in the, deep darkness of death.