Book #3: 73-89, cont’d.
This has been called the saddest Psalm in the whole book of Psalms.
Psalm 88:1-9-The Psalmist expresses the depths of his depression and how long it has been going on. Look at the numerous ways that David expresses his predicament and subsequent discouragement:
- “cried out day by day” (this has gone on and on, :1)
- “and in the night” (it keeps him awake at night, :1)
- “my soul has had enough troubles” (:3)
- “my life has drawn near to Sheol” (meaning death, :3)
- “I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit” (meaning the grave, :4)
- “like a man without strength” (his life is gone, :4)
- “Forsaken among the dead” (left alone like the body of a dead man, :5)
- “like the slain who lie in the grave” (:5)
- “Whom Thou dost remember no more” (it seems as if God has forgotten him, :5)
- “cut off from Thy hand” (he feels totally separated from God, :5)
- “Thou has put me in the lowest pit” (there is dead, and then there is really dead, :6)
- “In dark places” (:6)
- “in the depths” (:6)
- “Thy wrath has rested upon me” (God’s anger has settled on top of him, :7)
- “Thou hast afflicted me with all Thy waves” (it just keeps coming and coming, like the waves of the seashore, (:7)
- “Thou has removed my acquaintances far from me” (my friends are gone, :8)
- “Thou hast made me an object of loathing” (he is despised by his friends, :8)
- “I am shut up and cannot go out” (he cannot escape his predicament, :8)
- “My eye has wasted away because of affliction” (either he has literally lost his eyesight because of the physical problems he is having; or, because of all the suffering he has gone through he can no longer see any hope or future, :9).Psalm 88:13-18-Not only does the Psalmist say that it seems that God has deliberately left him alone (:13-17), but that as a result, his friends have done the same (:18).Psalm 89
- Psalm 88:10-12-The Psalmist tells God that once he dies it will be too late to help him.
Ethan the Ezrahite. Probably identical with Jeduthun…though referring here to a descendant of the Ethan of David’s time (1 Chron. 15:19), since the disaster of verses 38-45 did not occur during David’s reign but later, during the decline of Judah. Or the term may refer to a choir guild bearing Ethan’s name.
The Ryrie Study Bible, Psalm 89, p. 882
Psalm 89:1-2-The Psalmist says that he will always tell others of God’s covenant faithfulness to David. In response, God says that He has established His covenant with David and will preserve it forever (:3-4).
Psalm 89:5-10-There is no one like the Lord. He rules and reigns supreme over all of creation…both on earth and in Heaven.
Psalm 89:11-18-Everything belongs to the Lord (:11-12). His rule over creation is characterized by His strength (:13), “righteousness and justice…Lovingkindness and truth” (:14). Those who know Him and are obedient to Him are blessed (:15-18).
Psalm 89:19-37-The Psalmist says that God has established His covenant with David forever...even if his descendants are disobedient…the covenant will continue. God will punish those who are disobedient…but their disobedience will not disrupt His covenant (:30-34).
Psalm 89:38-45-The Psalmist says that God is disciplining Israel…just as He said He would.
Psalm 89:46-51-The Psalmist calls upon the Lord to restore the nation...and to remember that he will not live forever, so do it soon.
Psalm 89:52-This verse is the doxology that closes Book #3 of the Psalms.
Prayer: Lord, You faithfulness is forever. Your faithfulness will never end because it is an expression of Your very nature. Faithfulness is not something that You adhere to, or determine to maintain. Faithfulness is what You are. As humans, we often see things backwards. We’re so self-centered. We see faithfulness and seem to think that it is a quality of our existence to which You adhere. When in reality, what we are seeing is a quality of Your nature as it is being expressed in our existence as faithfulness. And You will never, ever change. Your faithfulness is forever.