|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 12. - Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? (compare above, ver. 10). And thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? "The land of forgetfulness," or "of oblivion," is another name for Hades, or Sheol - not that there are supposed to be no memories of the past in it (Isaiah 14:16, 17), but that all is faint and shadowy there, consciousness but a half-consciousness, remembrance but a half-remembrance.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Shall thy wonders be known in the dark?.... A description of the grave again; see Job 10:21, The sense may be, should he continue in the dark and silent grave, how would the wonders of the grace of God, of electing, redeeming, justifying, pardoning, and adopting grace, be made known; the wonders of Christ's person and offices, and the wondrous things, and doctrines of the Gospel, relating thereunto? as the glory of these would be eclipsed, there would be none to publish them:
and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? the grave, where the dead lie, who, having lost all sense of things, forget what were done in this world, and they themselves are quickly forgotten by the living; and had Christ continued in this state, and had not risen again to our justification, how would his justifying righteousness have been revealed, as it is from faith to faith in the Gospel, which is therefore called the word and ministration of righteousness?
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