Keeping Things in Perspective
I know I’ve written about the duplicity of my soul before, but I was reading through something this morning and it struck me as appropriate and thought-provoking. So, since I can, I’ll share it.
Psalm 88 is a depressing psalm, no getting around that. It isn’t written by David but by the Sons of Korah. The psalm starts out with O LORD, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. My my prayers come before you; turn your ear to my cry.
Uh-oh. You can tell from the first verse things aren’t going to be sounding good. And they don’t. Here’s a couple passages from the psalm:
my soul is full of trouble . . . my life draws near the grave . . . You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths . . . my eyes are dim with grief . . . Why, O LORD, do you reject me? . . . I have been afflicted and close to death . . . Your wrath has swept over me . . . they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me.
Pretty depressing isn’t it? And it gets worse, the very last line of the psalm is the darkness is my closest friend.
That’s it. Nothing positive at all. On and on it goes, despair, depression, dejection, and discouragement. I read that and I thought, boy, what a way to start the day off, Lord, what are you trying to show me here?
. . . but then I read on. You have to read on. The first two verses of Psalm 89 redeem everything. I know the psalms are written by different guys but in God’s soveriegnty He arranged the book so one follows another. I think He knew people would read 88 and be blown away by the despair without hope so He stuck 89 right on its tail . . . but we have to keep reading.
Psalm 89, the first two verses say this: I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.
You see, Psalm 88 is from man’s perspective. At times, life stinks. Sorrow smothers us, death surrounds us, grief, hurt, envy, strife, it’s all part of this world. And if we focus on that, yeah, it’s pretty despairing and hopeless. But Psalm 89 serves to remind us, Wait! God is still on the throne and His throne is firm through all generations. His love for His children endures forever and through whatever this old sin-cursed world throws at us. Don’t despair. He is worthy of our praise.
I need to read these two psalms often. Keep things in perspective.