This sermon was based on Psalm 88.
I Cry Out Day and Night Before You
A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.
1 O Lord, God of my salvation,
I cry out day and night before you.
2 Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my cry!
3 For my soul is full of troubles,
and my life draws near to Sheol.
4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am a man who has no strength,
5 like one set loose among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
for they are cut off from your hand.
6 You have put me in the depths of the pit,
in the regions dark and deep.
7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah
8 You have caused my companions to shun me;
you have made me a horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
9 my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you, O Lord;
I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the departed rise up to praise you? Selah
11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12 Are your wonders known in the darkness,
or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
13 But I, O Lord, cry to you;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 O Lord, why do you cast my soul away?
Why do you hide your face from me?
15 Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
your dreadful assaults destroy me.
17 They surround me like a flood all day long;
they close in on me together.
18 You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
my companions have become darkness.
God Loves Honesty
- God doesn’t want us to paper over the cracks, no matter how deep or ugly or painful they are – he wants us to be honest with him.
- God already knows whats on our heart, he already knows the pain or anger. If we’re physically sick and in pain, we don’t pretend we’re ﬁne – so why do that spiritually?
- God wants us to be honest and raw to him in our prayers – thats the ﬁrst key lesson about prayer that we have to learn from this passage.
God Loves Perseverance
- God would rather have us persevere in complaining to him than for us to give up on him and complain to others about him.
- When we find ourselves in that deep dark cave the only thing keeping us from being lost forever is prayer!
- When our despair is serious, persevering in tearful prayers may not only be ok, it may actually be lifted up to us as an example of Godly prayer in times of utter darkness.
- This whole psalm says pretty much exactly what Jesus went through. You could swap Heman for Jesus as the author and it would still make sense.
- On the cross, Jesus took the full weight of the wrath of God – all of Gods righteous anger over the sins of the world were poured out onto Jesus.
- Jesus made himself fully forsaken, fully alone so that we would never have to be . We take this for granted – that God will never leave nor forsake us, but that’s only true because of Jesus sacriﬁce. This psalm points us to what Jesus went through and that Jesus knows pain and despair deeper than we know!