“When Darkness is Your Closest Friend”

January 25, 2015

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Psalm 88 is the darkest Psalm in the Bible.  Authorship is attributed to a man named Heman the Ezrahite and his Job-like dirge was probably not a highly requested worship song.  Heman’s prayer is a desperate cry.  He feels forsaken, the object of wrath, smothered by death, and shut off from God.  Everything seems dark and utterly hopeless.  His friends have deserted him, finding him repulsive.  (Job’s friends were far better!)  Heman’s agony is palatable.  His song of lament ends with, “The darkness is my closet friend.”  And yet Heman prays on, day and night he groans and weeps before God.  Perhaps no one attended his funeral.  Perhaps no eulogy was given.  Perhaps he dug his own grave and then collapsed into it.  But when he fell in, it’s likely his heart was gazing forward centuries, set like flint upon the cross on which his God, to Whom he cried, would die to make him live.  Upon that cross, a Friend who sticks closer than a brother, would answer all his prayers and put a new song in his heart: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!”

Bible References

  • Psalm 88:1 - 18
  • Ephesians 2:1 - 7
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:9 - 10
  • Romans 5:9 - 11
  • Ephesians 5:14