The Knightsville Lamp
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a
light to my path”
CHURCH OF CHRIST
905 Pieske St.
Evangilist : Rob Dispennett
GOSPEL MEETING APRIL 17-22
Please keep the following in your prayers and/or encourage:
-Matt & Krista
-Allison Russell & Baby
-Lisa’s Mother & Grandparents
-Marvin & Irene Douglas
-Our College Students and Youth
Sunday Bible Study 9:30 am
Sunday Worship Service 10:30 am
Sunday Evening Worship Service 5:30 pm
Wednesday Bible Study 7:00 pm
Andrew Russell 765-346-5719
Steve Reynolds 812-878-6216
Brett Guinn 812-298-1081
Andy Dickey 765-894-0487
This song is a cry for help to a God who seems angry and distant. Admittedly, that doesn’t seem very encouraging at first. I mean, if I had consulted God about songwriting and what his hymns should include, I would have taken this one to him and said, “This psalm needs at least a verse or two of some hopeful promise. And, really, the last word of the song shouldn’t be ‘darkness.’ Way too heavy.”
But God wisely didn’t consult me. He knows there are moments for saints when things look so bleak that all we can do is cry a lament to him. We cry, “Where are you? I know you’re there and I know there’s light, but I can’t see it! Please, please show me!”
I’ve been there. I’ve known that kind of darkness. And this psalm is a gift from God to his children. It’s a song for them to sing during the desolate moments, which one day will be swallowed up in unending light.
There are other psalms one should meditate on in such times, like Psalm 27 and Psalm 139. And the Bible as a whole resounds with hope. But Psalm 88 is a merciful reminder from God that the experience of darkness is “common to man” (1 Corinthians 10:13), that when we’re in it we are not as alone as we feel, and that he is with us after all.
Isn’t it just like God to make a bleak psalm a light for those who sit in darkness?
“…even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you” (Psalm 139:12).
The Bleakest Psalm
Is Really a Nightlight
I read Psalm 88 recently in my devotions, and it filled me with thanksgiving. Which might seem odd. Because this psalm just may be the most bleak of the canonical songs. Take a moment to read it.
_1O lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:2Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry; 3For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.4I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:5Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. 6Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.7Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.8Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. 9Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.10Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah. 11Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?12Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? 13But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.14LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me? 15I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted. 16Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off. 17They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together. 18Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.
Heman the Ezrahite, the apparent composer, was seriously depressed. Maybe he was chronically ill. Or maybe, like many, he battled almost constantly against a relentless darkness. We really don’t know. But he said he had been this way since his youth (v. 15). He felt abandoned by God (v. 14), his beloved (v. 18), and companions (v. 8). He was desperate and his prayers seemed to be going unanswered (vv. 13-14). He was so overwhelmed that he felt close to death (vv. 3, 15).
So why did this psalm make me feel so thankful? Simply because God mercifully included it in the Bible. I find that amazing.