New International Reader's Version

Psalm 88

Psalm 88

For the director of music. According to mahalath leannoth. A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. A maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.

Lord, you are the God who saves me.
    Day and night I cry out to you.
Please hear my prayer.
    Pay attention to my cry for help.

I have so many troubles
    I’m about to die.
People think my life is over.
    I’m like someone who doesn’t have any strength.
People treat me as if I were dead.
    I’m like those who have been killed and are now in the grave.
You don’t even remember them anymore.
    They are cut off from your care.

It’s as if you have put me deep down in the grave.
    It’s as if you have put me in that deep, dark place.
Your great anger lies heavy on me.
    All the waves of your anger have crashed over me.
You have taken my closest friends away from me.
    You have made me sickening to them.
I feel trapped and can’t escape.
    I’m crying so much I can’t see very well.

Lord, I call out to you every day.
    I lift up my hands to you in prayer.
10 Do you do wonderful things for those who are dead?
    Do their spirits rise up and praise you?
11 Do those who are dead speak about your love?
    Do those who are in the grave tell how faithful you are?
12 Are your wonderful deeds known in that dark place?
    Are your holy acts known in that land where the dead are forgotten?

13 Lord, I cry out to you for help.
    In the morning I pray to you.
14 Lord, why do you say no to me?
    Why do you turn your face away from me?

15 I’ve been in pain ever since I was young.
    I’ve been close to death.
You have made me suffer terrible things.
    I have lost all hope.
16 Your great anger has swept over me.
    Your terrors have destroyed me.
17 All day long they surround me like a flood.
    They have closed in all around me.
18 You have taken my friends and neighbors away from me.
    Darkness is my closest friend.

The Message

Psalm 88

A Korah Prayer of Heman

11-9 God, you’re my last chance of the day.
    I spend the night on my knees before you.
Put me on your salvation agenda;
    take notes on the trouble I’m in.
I’ve had my fill of trouble;
    I’m camped on the edge of hell.
I’m written off as a lost cause,
    one more statistic, a hopeless case.
Abandoned as already dead,
    one more body in a stack of corpses,
And not so much as a gravestone—
    I’m a black hole in oblivion.
You’ve dropped me into a bottomless pit,
    sunk me in a pitch-black abyss.
I’m battered senseless by your rage,
    relentlessly pounded by your waves of anger.
You turned my friends against me,
    made me horrible to them.
I’m caught in a maze and can’t find my way out,
    blinded by tears of pain and frustration.

9-12 I call to you, God; all day I call.
    I wring my hands, I plead for help.
Are the dead a live audience for your miracles?
    Do ghosts ever join the choirs that praise you?
Does your love make any difference in a graveyard?
    Is your faithful presence noticed in the corridors of hell?
Are your marvelous wonders ever seen in the dark,
    your righteous ways noticed in the Land of No Memory?

13-18 I’m standing my ground, God, shouting for help,
    at my prayers every morning, on my knees each daybreak.
Why, God, do you turn a deaf ear?
    Why do you make yourself scarce?
For as long as I remember I’ve been hurting;
    I’ve taken the worst you can hand out, and I’ve had it.
Your wildfire anger has blazed through my life;
    I’m bleeding, black-and-blue.
You’ve attacked me fiercely from every side,
    raining down blows till I’m nearly dead.
You made lover and neighbor alike dump me;
    the only friend I have left is Darkness.