Psalm 88 is prophetic of Israel and also their messiah. Every other psalm ends with some note of praise or ray of hope. but this psalm begins with sorrow and ends with sorrow. we get the aspect of the lord’s work on the cross paying for the curse of a broken law (Gal. 3:13). When a person is under law and really gets a sense of their having broken it, they will really feel the pain of these words. this is the weeping in the Valley of Baca (Psa. 84). The inscription indicates that this is a psalm composed by the sons of Korah. It was written to the tune of “Mahalath Leannoth”, meaning “sickness unto humiliation”. Leannoth may be similar to the word rendered Wormwood, which means bitterness; a deadly bitter disease. This psalm describes the diseased state of the nation of Israel, and the remnant’s acknowledgement of it before God. It is an advance from Psalm 53.
Psalm 88 vs.Psalm 89. The former is Israel under law, and the latter has to do with Israel under grace.
A Song, a Psalm for the sons of Korah. To the chief Musician. Upon Mahalath Leannoth. An instruction. Of Heman the Ezrahite.
1 Jehovah, God of my salvation, I have cried by day and in the night before thee.
2 Let my prayer come before thee; incline thine ear unto my cry.
3 For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draweth nigh to Sheol.
4 I am reckoned with them that go down into the pit; I am as a man that hath no strength:
5 Prostrate among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave; whom thou rememberest no more, and who are cut off from thy hand.
6 Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in dark places, in the deeps.
7 Thy fury lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.
8 Thou hast put my familiar friends far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
9 Mine eye consumeth by reason of affliction. Upon thee, Jehovah, have I called every day; I have stretched out my hands unto thee.
10 Wilt thou do wonders to the dead? shall the shades arise and praise thee? Selah.
11 Shall thy loving-kindness be declared in the grave? thy faithfulness in Destruction?
12 Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
13 But as for me, Jehovah, I cry unto thee, and in the morning my prayer cometh before thee.
14 Why, O Jehovah, castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?
15 I am afflicted and expiring from my youth up; I suffer thy terrors, and I am distracted.
16 Thy fierce anger hath gone over me; thy terrors have brought me to nought:
17 They have surrounded me all the day like water; they have compassed me about together.
18 Lover and associate hast thou put far from me: my familiar friends are darkness.