|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 14. - Lord, why cutest thou off my soul? The psalmist speaks here, like Job, as one aggrieved. What has he done to be "cast off"? He is evidently not aware of having sinned any grievous sin, and does not understand why he is visited with such grievous sufferings. Why hidest thou thy face from me? Perhaps it is his insensibility, his unconsciousness of real sins and shortcomings, that has drawn down upon the psalmist his chastisement.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Lord, why castest thou off my soul?.... Here begins his prayer, which he determined to present early in the morning, and consists of expostulations, and a representation of his distressed case: this shows that he was under soul desertion, and which was what so greatly afflicted him; imagining that his soul was cast off by the Lord, and had no more share in his affection, and was no more under his care, and in his sight: such expostulations of the saints, the church, and people of God, in a like case, are elsewhere met with, Psalm 43:3 and may be applied to Christ, when his soul was exceeding sorrowful unto death, and was made an offering for sin; and particularly when he was forsaken by his Father: the Targum is,
"why hast thou forsaken my soul?''
and rises the word "sabachtha", which Christ did when on the cross, Matthew 27:46, the Septuagint version is,
"wherefore, O Lord, dost thou reject my prayers?''
"why hidest thou thy face from me?" which is a denial of sensible communion, a withdrawing the influences and communications of divine grace for a time; and which sometimes is the case of the best of men, as Job, David, and others; and is very grieving and distressing to them; and, for the most part, is on account of sin; it is sin which separates between God and his people, and causes him to hide his face from them, or not grant them his gracious presence: this was the case of Christ, who knew no sin, while he was suffering for the sins of his people; see Psalm 69:17 compared with Matthew 27:46.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. On the terms (Ps 27:9; 74:1; 77:7).
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