Have You Forgotten Me?
Lord, I know that You never leave me nor forsake me. Remind me of Your promises.
Read Psalm 88
1 Lord, you are the God who saves me;
day and night I cry out to you.
2 May my prayer come before you;
turn your ear to my cry.
3 I am overwhelmed with troubles
and my life draws near to death.
4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am like one without strength.
5 I am set apart with the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
who are cut off from your care.
6 You have put me in the lowest pit,
in the darkest depths.
7 Your wrath lies heavily on me;
you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.
8 You have taken from me my closest friends
and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;
9 my eyes are dim with grief.
I call to you, Lord, every day;
I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you show your wonders to the dead?
Do their spirits rise up and praise you?
11 Is your love declared in the grave,
your faithfulness in Destruction?
12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,
or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?
13 But I cry to you for help, Lord;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 Why, Lord, do you reject me
and hide your face from me?
15 From my youth I have suffered and been close to death;
I have borne your terrors and am in despair.
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
your terrors have destroyed me.
17 All day long they surround me like a flood;
they have completely engulfed me.
18 You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
darkness is my closest friend.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever felt that the Lord has completely forgotten you? How did you deal with this?
This psalmist is desperate. God seems to have forgotten him (5). Worse than that, God seems to be actively against him, punishing him, turning his friends against him (6–8). The psalmist blames God. And, unlike most psalms, there is no good news, no hope, no happy ending.
But he doesn’t give up. He is a pray-er, a priest; praying is his calling. Believing that God will answer, believing that God is his answer, he perseveres. Rather than turning away, accepting fate and becoming embittered and silent, he calls on the only help he knows.
In any relationship—a marriage, a friendship—it is better to argue than to stop talking. Marriage counselors say that when couples stop talking that is when hope is lost. And the psalmist doesn’t just talk, he argues with God! He asks, “What good is it to you if I am dead?” (10–12).
Many leaders close to the Lord suffer great affliction. Almost like a training ground, the intimate journeys of many spiritual giants—Mother Teresa, John Bunyan, Charles Wesley and countless others—are honed and shaped in times of great suffering.
Whatever painful situation you are experiencing right now, keep talking to God. As we’ll see in the next psalm, praise will return!
Search through the Scriptures or a reference book for God’s promises. Record the ones that apply to your current situations.
Pray to the Lord in the most honest terms you can, telling him how you feel about your life situations.