I have no doubt God has a sense of humor. Mid-stream in our start-up enterprise, I spent the early part of the week with my colleagues / friends in Washington, D.C., drinking too much coffee and hashing through the business plan. Tuesday morning we decided to open with prayer and a Psalm. Still waiting for the caffeine to kick in, I listened for the familiar rhythm: situation is awful / I cried out to God / God delivered me / so everyone else put your hope in God too.
Instead, the Psalm (chosen at random) was Psalm 88. As any Bible trivia master knows (and as I now know), Psalm 88 is the only Psalm that starts down and ends down. Unlucky:
1 O LORD, the God who saves me,
day and night I cry out before you.
2 May my prayer come before you;
turn your ear to my cry.
3 For my soul is full of trouble
and my life draws near the grave.
4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am like a man 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 upon 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, O LORD, every day;
I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you show your wonders to the dead?
Do those who are dead 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, O LORD;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 Why, O LORD, do you reject me
and hide your face from me?
15 From my youth I have been afflicted and close to death;
I have suffered 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 my companions and loved ones from me;
the darkness is my closest friend.Read more