Psalm 88

Lamentation (individual-sick) / (Korah)

            You Afflict Me to Refine Me

            13 But I, O Lord, have cried out to You for help,

            And in the morning my prayer comes before You.

·         Let no man despise his afflicted brother. Let no man count it imbecility to tremble under a sense of the divine wrath.

·         But no trials can come that will justify us in failing to make God the depository of our sad tale.

·         No mortal can explain why the loving and gentle God should permit the best of men to be so pressed and afflicted as thus to crush them.

·         [I]n some respects it overwhelms the soul to find God himself smiting it and sending his wrath and terrors upon it. It says, God can do no wrong, yet he afflicts me thus. Is it because he sees me to be his enemy and is determined to make me a monument of his wrath? Or is it because he sees so much dross in me that he keeps me in the fire so long?

·         [T]here is hardly any cup of more bitterness than that which we drink on finding that many whom we cherished as friends stand aloof from our sore, and are not grieved for our affliction.

·         If God by his providence shuts us up so that we cannot come forth, then let his will be done; but let us not voluntarily shut ourselves out from commerce with men, simply because God has greatly afflicted us.

·         “[We must learn] to cast the anchor of our faith and prayers direct into heaven in all the perils of shipwreck to which we may be exposed.” (Calvin)

·         For nearly three thousand years the pious author of this ode has been singing a very different song before the throne of the Eternal; and his eternity is but just begun.