We are continuing our series of reflections on the Psalms. Each day we will upload a new reflection to the website. We hope and pray that you will find them helpful and that they bring hope during this season. Click on these buttons to read the text of the psalm or listen to a recording of it. You can also listen to the reflection using the audio player below.
This is surely the saddest of all the Psalms. It is a cry from the depths, the prayer of one on the edge of death, who feels like his whole life has been lived in the near vicinity of the grave. He has been so troubled and even feels he has been subject God’s wrath (verse 7). All his friends have abandoned him, as if he has an infectious disease (verse 8). In other lament psalms hope is experienced at some point and often at the end, but not this one. Even though it starts claiming that God saves, it ends in complete darkness. His agony was deep in the soul and was not just physical, but mental and emotional pain.
The psalmist describes how he is feeling very graphically – down in the pit, no strength, darkest depths, overwhelmed by waves, no friends, dim eyes, close to death since young, God’s terrors and wrath. He is very depressed, but he continues to cry out to God for help (verses 1, 9, 13), so maybe he has a glimmer of hope that God will bring his salvation, suggesting a true, but feeble faith.
He doesn’t seem sure of life after death (verse 9-12), but we now have a sure hope as Jesus talked about heaven and hell and he has done all that is needed for us to have eternal life.
Have you ever felt your situation is hopeless? Felt really sad? Even then God is with you and will not stop loving you, no matter how dark a place you are in. He will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). If we struggle with feeling depressed it is not due to a lack of faith. Sometimes God empties us so he can refill us, remains silent so we can learn to listen and allows darkness so we can see that he only is the true light of our life.
Dear God, please help me believe that no matter how down I feel, you are there with me and will always love me and care for me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made and you have good plans prepared for me.