In the second reading of today we look at a song of the sons of Korah with Psalm 87 and an individual lament composed by someone afflicted with a grave illness, feeling lonely and abandoned by God with Psalm 88.
With those two Psalms we can not resist thinking also of Job’s sufferings.
The writer recognises that there is One Adonai Who loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob and that glorious things are spoken of that city of God. (Psalm 87:2-3) The Most High God has established that city and made her strong (Psalm 87:5).
The writer his soul is deeply troubled, and his heart can’t bear the weight of this sorrow, feeling so close to death. (Psalm 88:3) Those who feel like the poor and helpless should see there have always been people like them, who had put their hopes into this One God. More than once there were believers in God who died alone, left for dead, as good as the unknowable sea of souls lying under their feet, life drawing them near the grave (Sheol, the place of the dead). (Psalm 88:3-4)
When you feel like a man who has no strength [a mere shadow], cast away [from the living] and abandoned among the dead, feeling like a body [corpse] lying in a grave whom people nor God don’t remember anymore, cut off from God’s care [L hand] (Psalm 88:4-5), then you should remember this lament and look up to the One high in the skies.
The psalm writer his eyes grew dim, weakened by his sickness which was taking his strength from him.
Like a worn cloth, his hands were unfolded before the Eternal One (Psalm 88:9). He was perhaps not sure if that Elohim would be the Miracle Worker. We should know Jehovah God Is (Psalm 88:10).
The dead do not know anything nor can do anything, but the living can. As long as we are alive we can choose for the Living God. Dead their spirits [shades; departed] can not rise up and praise [thank] God, but we can! For them, it is also too late to come to know the miracles or wonderful acts of God. The writer asks if God His love and loyalty will be told [recounted] in the grave and if His goodness [righteousness] will be known in the land of forgetfulness (Psalm 88:10-12).
Whilst for the writer darkness seemed to be his only friend, it should not be for us. (Psalm 88:18)
We, who believe in that Only One True God do have hope. We should not let ourselves be pulled downwards, by those who hate God or who hate lovers of the Only One True God Jehovah. We should be pleased with Him Who gives life and blesses us. We can sing of the love of Adonai forever. Therefore, let us, like the psalm writer, to all generations make known Jehovah’s faithfulness with our mouth (Psalm 89:1-2).
The heavens praise God’s wonders. The faithfulness of the Adonai (in the assembly of the kedoshim – or the council of holy ones) is lifted high and feared. His presence overwhelms all who are near Him.
O Eternal God, Commander of heaven’s armies, who is mighty like You oh Adonai?
You are completely faithful; that’s why we trust You. For who in the skies can compare to ?
Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: De gedachte van vandaag: “Als je jezelf een man voelt die geen kracht meer heeft” (19 februari)