Is there hope for the world? in ENGLISH and Chinese.

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Is there hope for the world? This story says there is. ENGLISH

这个世界有希望吗?这则故事将告诉您有。 Chinese Version

Psalm Chapter 88 (KJV) Are you sick of it all? Isolated and alone because of sickness – David felt that way?

What about you? Has social distancing reached your last emotions straw? Are you wondering where God fits in the middle of all this suffering?

Psalm Chapter 88 (KJV)

Context

The psalmist has written an individual prayer of lament. It appears to be a prayer written by friendless a person who is near to death. Consequently, it looks like the psalmist has almost given up on God coming to his rescue, but not quite thoroughly. He continues to pray and hopes that he will eventually be saved from his current predicament. Contrary to the style of most laments, this one ends in darkness. However, because the psalmist is still praying to God, he continues to hope that perhaps, just perhaps, this time, God will hear him.

You are a God who saves

1 O  Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;

The psalmist identifies God as the source of his salvation. We do the same thing too. During this time of global fear and or concern, we are reaching out to YHWH, and we are proclaiming to our friends that Jesus is the source of our salvation.  So we should, like David in our present and everyday situations, be asking YHWH to be our guide and aid.  In Hebrews 5:7, Paul prayers this same prayer. “Incline thine ear unto my cry”: Hearken to it, receive it, and give an answer to it. Christ’s prayers were attended with loud crying and were always accepted and heard.

I am overwhelmed with troubles.

For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. I am counted with them that go down into the pit [pit = the grave/abbadon]: I am as a man that hath no strength: Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. 

The psalmist is saying that his soul is really sick. He feels so ill that he believes that death is very near. This could just be hyperbole, or it could literally be a sickness that ends in death. It is not clear. The psalmist feels like Job. Desolate and on the point of death. The psalmist has given up. He sees no end to his sickness. Are you giving up on the pandemic? Do you see no end to social isolation? Do you think that God has left you to fend for yourself? Have you prayed but did not receive an answer?

Oh, so you are not going to hear me? You have ruined my life.

Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.  Can you imagine feeling as if the wrath of God is coming over you. That it is as angry as thr crashing waves of the sea on the rocks at the beach? Thou 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. 9  

Not only that but YHWH has lead your friends to abandon you. See Job 19:13-20. The pslamist said that. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: Lord, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee. His eyes are mourning, but where are the tears? Has he cried so much that there are no tears left? Have you ever experienced that? I have! After the death of my granny, my cousin, my dad, my dear friend, right here in SC, and when Wyn went home to Jesus. There appeare to be no water left in my eyes. My tears were like the Salt sea.

10 Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Ok God so I die from this disease. Who is going to praise you? That is what the psalmist is saying here.  It seems as if the psalmist is not aware that there is life after this flesh ceases to exist. Selah. 11 Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?  Can a dead man worsip you God? How many times since March have we heard that phrase? How many feigned prophets have you heard declare that God is punishing America and the world? But the problem with that line of theology is this. Christians are dying too. 12 Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? 

Who can declare God’s creative powers when they are dead? Dead people can neither receive God’s favor in the form of comfort nor return them in praise to him. The psalmist is actually blaming YHWH for his current plight. He is telling YHWH that he has prayed, but no one has answered him. This section shows that he actually believes that God is that YHWH cause of his current situation.

What did I do? Why do you reject me, so?

13 But unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. 14 Lord, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?

It seems unfathomable to the psalmist that God could be refusing to answer him. After all, he has cried out to God before, and He has responded to him. So, he is saying, “What is the big deal this time, God?”

My closet friend is – darkness.

15 I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted. The psalmist is not new to afflication. He has experienced it before. How about you? Have you been sick before? Have you had a life threatening experience before? Did God deliver you? So like the salmist, during your current period of affliction are you so terrified that you are distracted? 16 Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off. 17 They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together. 18 Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness. 

The “darkness” of grief is similar to a feeling of death. This lament does not end with the usual confirmation that despite how difficult the trail may seem to be, God will deliver the psalmist.  This particular lament is reminiscent of what believers experience during seasons of hopelessness. However. One must always remember that our hope is in Jesus. He has never, ever, forsaken His children.

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