Psalm 88 Commentary
A Petition to Be Saved from Death
The New Testament saint doesn’t have the fears of this psalm. We are drawn to the LORD of the resurrection. By believing in Jesus, we have life. The words of the LORD Jesus Christ remain with us.
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” John 11 verses 25 and 26.
We want to read this psalm within its own context. Death was to be feared. It meant an end to everything. There are several references to the afterlife but generally, death was considered the final nail in the coffin of existence.
Even today and amongst the unbelievers, the fear of death is quite intense.
Strangely, the psalm holds truth for the wicked of today. This life and all its meaningless pursuits are all there is for them. It is a dead-ended tunnel for them. All hope for a better situation ends at the grave. So they seek to create their own Eden here and now.
However, the psalmist has a nobler reason for his fears. His death is Heaven’s loss. Who will provide worship? Won’t the LORD God miss the praises from the psalmist? The thought here could be that the saint must look at their continued existence in the light of service in the vineyard. Of course, unlike the psalmist, the saint knows death is a gain.
As a prayer, this psalm has some deep reflections. The confession that the psalmist has suffered from his youth may sound negative but again the saint knows better. It is God’s will that the saint lives in fragility. He is housed in a clay pot. It should easily break under any form of pressure.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” Second Corinthians 4 verses 8 to 10.
It is a miracle that the clay pot survives to see the next day. All to the glory of the Creator God. The LORD God enjoys driving around without a spare wheel. Because He is God, you don’t want to fear even when darkness is your closest friend.
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