the tune of “the suffering of the affliction”...

last night i discovered the 88th psalm. i know that i have read through all of the psalms dozens of times. but the 88th one was placed into my Bible last night just for me. and i bet if you go and look God has placed it in your Bible also. He is so ahead of the game. one would think that He knows the rules. and the outcome. and every move...

i had just finished reading the psalm and marveling at how i had NEVER seen it before when someone that i love said something hurtful and rejected me. one of those comments that starts with, "i don't mean to offend you BUT..." that always end up offending me. whether that was the intent or not. and it almost made me laugh because i had just read all about that rejection in the psalm. God knew what was coming. and He prepared me 5 seconds ahead. He isn't early but He is never late...

i love that the title of this little ditty is "a song to be sung to the tune 'the suffering of affliction'". yeah, who doesn't love that tune? so uplifting...

so without further introduction, my friend (and maybe yours) psalm 88...


Psalm 88 (nlt)

For the choir director: A song to be sung to the tune “The Suffering of Affliction.” A psalm of Heman the Ezrahite.

1 O Lord, God of my salvation,

    I cry out to you by day.

    I come to you at night.

2 Now hear my prayer;

    listen to my cry.

3 For my life is full of troubles,

    and death draws near.

4 I am as good as dead,

    like a strong man with no strength left.

5 They have left me among the dead,

    and I lie like a corpse in a grave.

I am forgotten,

    cut off from your care.

6 You have thrown me into the lowest pit,

    into the darkest depths.

7 Your anger weighs me down;

    with wave after wave you have engulfed me.


8 You have driven my friends away

    by making me repulsive to them.

I am in a trap with no way of escape.

9     My eyes are blinded by my tears.

Each day I beg for your help, O Lord;

    I lift my hands to you for mercy.

10 Are your wonderful deeds of any use to the dead?

    Do the dead rise up and praise you?


11 Can those in the grave declare your unfailing love?

    Can they proclaim your faithfulness in the place of destruction?[c]

12 Can the darkness speak of your wonderful deeds?

    Can anyone in the land of forgetfulness talk about your righteousness?

13 O Lord, I cry out to you.

    I will keep on pleading day by day.

14 O Lord, why do you reject me?

    Why do you turn your face from me?

15 I have been sick and close to death since my youth.

    I stand helpless and desperate before your terrors.

16 Your fierce anger has overwhelmed me.

    Your terrors have paralyzed me.

17 They swirl around me like floodwaters all day long.

    They have engulfed me completely.

18 You have taken away my companions and loved ones.

    Darkness is my closest friend.


whew. that is pretty bleak. and it pretty much sums up what i was feeling. but the good news is that psalm 88 isn't the end of the psalms. nope there is a psalm 89...

The very rhythm of the last line shows that the piece is not complete. The ear remains in suspense; until the majestic Ps 89:1-52 shall burst upon it like a bright Resurrection morning. {william kay}

Psalm 89

A psalm of Ethan the Ezrahite.

1 I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever!

    Young and old will hear of your faithfulness.

2 Your unfailing love will last forever.

    Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens...


there is no night so dark that morning doesn't follow. Christ was forsaken on the cross so that we would NEVER have to be forsaken. we are never utterly rejected. He may take away our companions and our loved ones... but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.