|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
88:10-18 Departed souls may declare God's faithfulness, justice, and lovingkindness; but deceased bodies can neither receive God's favours in comfort, nor return them in praise. The psalmist resolved to continue in prayer, and the more so, because deliverance did not come speedily. Though our prayers are not soon answered, yet we must not give over praying. The greater our troubles, the more earnest and serious we should be in prayer. Nothing grieves a child of God so much as losing sight of him; nor is there any thing he so much dreads as God's casting off his soul. If the sun be clouded, that darkens the earth; but if the sun should leave the earth, what a dungeon would it be! Even those designed for God's favours, may for a time suffer his terrors. See how deep those terrors wounded the psalmist. If friends are put far from us by providences, or death, we have reason to look upon it as affliction. Such was the calamitous state of a good man. But the pleas here used were peculiarly suited to Christ. And we are not to think that the holy Jesus suffered for us only at Gethsemane and on Calvary. His whole life was labour and sorrow; he was afflicted as never man was, from his youth up. He was prepared for that death of which he tasted through life. No man could share in the sufferings by which other men were to be redeemed. All forsook him, and fled. Oftentimes, blessed Jesus, do we forsake thee; but do not forsake us, O take not thy Holy Spirit from us.
Verse 11. - Shall thy loving kindness be declared in the grave? Wilt thou wait till I am in my grave before thou showest any mercy upon me? or, Will not that be too late? Can thy faithfulness to thy promises be shown in destruction? literally, in Abaddon; i.e. "perdition" - a name of Sheol (cf. Job 26:6; Job 28:22).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave?.... Where he saw himself now going, and where should he be detained, and not raised out of it, the lovingkindness of God to him, as his Son, and as man and Mediator, and to his people in the gift and mission of him to be their Saviour and Redeemer, how would that be declared and made known? now it is, Christ being raised, and his ministers having a commission from him to preach the Gospel, in which the lovingkindness of God is abundantly manifested:
or thy faithfulness in destruction? the grave, so called from dead bodies being cast into it, and wasted, consumed, and destroyed in it: the meaning may be, that should he be laid in the grave, and there putrefy and rot, and not be raised again, where would be the faithfulness of God to his purposes, to his covenant and promises, to him his Son, and to his people?
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11, 12. amplify the foregoing, the whole purport (as Ps 6:5) being to contrast death and life as seasons for praising God.
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