Studies in Psalms – Psa 88:1-18 – Part 2, “…Shall Never Thirst”

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Psa 88:1-18, Part 2 – “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst” John 4:14

There is a progression or birthing process to coming out of the earth (Isa 26:17, Gal 4:19, Rev 12:2, Mat 24:21, Rev 7:14, Jer 22:29), and last study we looked at the first verse, which has these names in it – sons of Korah, Mahalath, Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.

These names connect to the rest of the Psalm and help us focus on the judgment and baptisms by fire that demonstrate the stedfast love that God has toward the world (Joh 3:16) and those whom He is bringing to maturation in this age (Mat 22:14).

We will cry out (Heb 5:7) when we find ourselves “like the slain that lie in the grave” of verse 5 of our study (Rev 11:18) or when we feel like our flesh has been forsaken, which is spoken of this way: “whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand” found also in verse 5.

It is the nations within us which are angry because God’s wrath has come, and the time of the dead (which is those who are being given to die daily) that they should be judged (1Pe 4:17). And what does that judgment on those who are dying daily produce?

Rev 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

In this study we will look at how we can, amidst all our trials, “give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty” because He has given us to understand how He is using His power for good, to reign over us in love, and to bring us into subjection unto Him through judgment (Heb 5:8). Verse 17 is the spirit of thanksgiving which God has called us to have upon our lips for the trials that He gives us to judge us “Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.” It is because of those trials that we can “offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Rev 11:17, Psa 71:8, Heb 13:15).

As we go through the verses, it will be shown how inevitable and inescapable are His judgments that produce the praise and thanksgiving that we eventually give to God for being given the power to put off our flesh and to say goodbye to the fleshly realm even as God “destroy(s) them that destroy the earth” within us. Our soulishness within us is our “earth, earth, earth” (Jer 22:29) that we are coming out of and destroying, and Christ has told us that the gates of hell, or that flesh and blood, cannot prevail against His plan for us to see that judgment fulfilled or filled up within us.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

We will be more than conquerors through Christ our hope of glory who will destroy the earth within us and purify us by destroying our soulishness through judgement. This verse (Rev 11:18) is then another way of saying these verses: Luk 12:4-5, Mat 21:44. All our life in Christ we are living unto him and dying unto him (Rom 14:8), but this is only in the earnest of our inheritance, and because we know flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, it will take not only a resurrection to a spirit body, but also these words being lived in our lives as His kind of first fruits: “and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth”. That ultimate destroying of them comes at the moment we are resurrected in a moment and in a twinkling of an eye where we will see Him face to face (1Co 15:52, 1Co 13:12), and we will have symbolically lost our first Adamic face through the much tribulation which must accompany our sojourn in this life (Isa 52:14, 1Jn 4:17).

Luk 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
Luk 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Mat 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

It is also very clear with the language used in this Psalm that it is impossible to put off the flesh without the miracle of being judged of God (Rom 2:4). We will cry out “incline thine ear unto my cry” as we describe what we’ve come to see as our wretched condition that can only be saved through Christ.

Rom 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

There is a systematic crushing that is happening to the Psalmist who is losing the battle of preserving his flesh, and it is coming at him in every direction, as God’s wrath lies hard upon him. Even though he stretches out his hands to God, he is yet in despair and being washed over by a riptide of judgment that is leaving him feel destroyed and unable to get his footing in the earth which is what God is doing with the elect, causing us to be of the generation who have no confidence in our flesh, in our earth (Psa 88:6-7, Php 3:3).

Then comes the part of the Psalm where there are multiple questions that pour forth from his lips because like Job he cannot reason properly with a God whose ways are so much higher than his own, and yet he has not yet come to the point where he can put his hand on his mouth and be silent although God has every intention of getting him there and does get us there as witnessed by these verses.

Job 40:4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? [1Ti 1:15] I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Job 40:5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; [Jud 1:12] but I will proceed no further.
Job 40:6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Job 40:7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
Job 40:8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Job 40:9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? [Rom 9:20]

The following attributes described in Job 40:10-13 are those of the Almighty, and they will ultimately be reflected in those who endure to the end and are made to be kings and priests, who learn that our own right hand can never save us unless it is the Lord who is doing the saving within us both to will and to do (Php 2:13).

Job 40:10 Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
Job 40:11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.
Job 40:12 Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
Job 40:13 Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.

It is after we are judged and put through the fire [doctrine of Christ] that we can both save ourselves and those who hear us, and all of this done in the order that God has preordained to His glory and honour, starting with the saviors who come up on mount Zion (1Ti 4:16, 1Co 15:23, Oba 1:21).

Job 40:14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

How will we overcome this wretched man that [we are]? We won’t, but the Lord will, and to illustrate this point I want to share something that happened to me prior to going to a wedding on May 21st of this year and my mothers funeral the day before on May 20th.

I had no suit for the funeral so I set out to get one at the nearest mall and the information person in the mall came up to me to see if I needed help, and she said that I should not tell anyone, but don’t buy a suit in this mall. Go to another place. Regardless, I decided to check out one store in the mall in hopes of getting a jacket off the rack that might suit my needs.

I was told don’t get your suit here, and I went anyway to go get suited the way that seemed right unto me! Well, here’s where it gets interesting. As I talked to the lady who was serving me, and I became more and more convinced that I was getting a lovely suit and a great bargain, I looked across the way and there was the groom, Aaron, whose wedding I was going to go to the day after the funeral. The Lord put Aaron in my way.

Aaron stopped the whole process (very respectfully I might add) and assured me that he could get me a suit that would be tailor fit and nearly half the price. I was a little sceptical, but his enthusiasm did not wane, and so he proceeded to call the store where he had got his suit for the wedding, and I went out to this by-appointment-only store to purchase a very fitting suit for my mom’s funeral.

Aaron was there that day at the mall to buy a belt that matched his shoes for the wedding, and he was there as well to stop me from making that purchase and to direct me to the better resurrection, at least in type and shadow.

That is the point of this story: our Lord (Aaron, in the story) was clothed with the righteousness that was given to him of our Father, and we are blessed to have this miraculous encounter today by Christ so that we can be clothed properly with the proper sack cloth that we wear (a black suit in my case)(Rev 11:1-3) so that we can properly say goodbye to our first mother whom we honour so that we may be made blessed and holy and found at the wedding with (Aaron-Christ) in that day which precedes the death and burial of Babylon, the mother of us all. The measuring of the temple of God and the altar and they that worship therein is the tailoring of the suit that we are given, by appointment only, from our Father through Christ.

I felt compelled to share this event in my life and pray that you are encouraged to see how blessed we are to have Christ, not just to deliver us from our own hearts which wrap his word, which can be likened unto a cloth around the idols of our hearts, which is just another way of saying a poorly fitted suit.

When I got the other suit, there were alterations that needed to be made, but that was not a burden to me, as I knew this was the right suit, and whatever sacrifices I had to make to make this suit fit properly were well worth the cost. In the end, the suit and the cost of the suit was not what mattered in my mind, but rather that I could honour my mother, and the Lord showed me the much deeper lesson was that I ought to, we ought to, be honouring our mother Jerusalem above by going to our Master Tailor and asking him to make us become a fitly framed servant, a vessel of honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use and prepared unto every good work (2Ti 2:21).

Another interesting and profitable parable that occurred this week was not having any internet, only a dribble of service that was coming from down the road at our office. The wi-fi signal was strong enough for us to get our email and keep us in touch with Christ via that format. Gale was straining at the window angling her iPad every which way to get as many bars as possible, and all I could think of later was this verse in Mark.

Mar 7:28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.

God has been bruising the body so profoundly of late, and I pray that this study will help us all see that this is just part of the tailoring process that is making us ready, and the bride will make herself ready because of our righteous King who is the author and finisher of our faith fabric. We praise Him and thank Him for that (Rev 19:7, Heb 12:2).

Psa 88:2-9 (Part 2)

Psa 88:1 A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite. O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:
Psa 88:2 Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;
Psa 88:3 For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.
Psa 88:4 I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:
Psa 88:5 Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.
Psa 88:6 Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.
Psa 88:7 Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.
Psa 88:8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
Psa 88:9 Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.
Psa 88:10 Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.
Psa 88:11 Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?
Psa 88:12 Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
Psa 88:13 But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
Psa 88:14 LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?
Psa 88:15 I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.
Psa 88:16 Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.
Psa 88:17 They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together. Psa 88:18 Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.

Psa 88:2 Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;
Psa 88:3 For my soul is full of troubles:H7451 and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.

H7451 rah, raw-aw’
From H7489; bad or (as noun) evil (naturally or morally). This includes the second (feminine) form; as adjective or noun: – adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, + displease (-ure), distress, evil ([-favouredness], man, thing), + exceedingly, X great, grief (-vous), harm, heavy, hurt (-ful), ill (favoured), + mark, mischief, (- vous), misery, naught (-ty), noisome, + not please, sad (-ly), sore, sorrow, trouble, vex, wicked (-ly, -ness, one), worse (-st)wretchedness, wrong. [Including feminine ra’ah; as adjective or noun.]

If God is working with us, our soul will be full of troubles from time to time, even great grief, and heavy hurt which will bring us to a place of contemplating how our life draws near to the grave.

Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulationG2347 enter into the kingdom of God.

G2347 thlipsis Thayer Definition:

1) a pressing, pressing together, pressure
2)metaphorically oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits

It is in these lowest and hardest times in our life when there is ‘oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress and straits’ that our prayer can come before God with no guile as all superfluous earthly matters fall away via the heat of the trial, and we see ourselves as that seed which must die and draw near the grave in order to bring forth much fruit.

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Joh 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Psa 88:4 I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:
Psa 88:5 Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.

These verses describe the end of all flesh which cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1Co 15:50) and must be “counted with them that go down into the pit” and to be that corn of wheat that must fall into the ground and die of (Joh 12:25).

The Lord shows us through this humbling process of death that there truly is one event to all men (Ecc 9:2-3) and that we have no preeminence above the beast or hope of life except through Christ (Col 1:27), who can resurrect that seed that dies and give us abundant life so that we are “free among the dead” (Joh 16:7, Joh 11:25, Rom 6:11, Luk 9:60).

It is when we are weak that we are strong in the Lord, (2Co 12:10), and “like the slain that lie in the grave”, God’s people are of the generation who have no confidence in our flesh as we lie dead in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified (Rev 11:8).

This lying dead in the street is a symbol of us mortifying the deeds of our flesh, the same sinful flesh that Christ had to put off by coming out of Egypt (Hos 11:1). In like manner we are called to “come out of her my people”, forgetting what is behind us and pressing toward the mark of the high calling in Christ, which is why the figurative language says “whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand”. To be forsaken is to be forgotten and remembered no more.

Mat 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

God does remember us, and there are so many verses that bear witness to this fact, but He does not ultimately remember our flesh, which is the means to the end that is used to bring us unto eternal life through the judgement and fiery trials we are blessed to experience today as His children (1Pe 4:17, 1Pe 4:12, Joh 3:15, Joh 4:14, Heb 12:6).

Deu 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Psa 88:6 Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.
Psa 88:7 Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.

I hope and pray these verses serve to encourage us even when they sound so negative for the flesh. The message is clear for God’s people that we must be laid “in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps” before we will cry out in despair to our merciful Father who knows how to bring us to see what we are in this vessel that is corrupt and cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

I’m not looking forward to having his “wrath lieth hard upon me” or experiencing being “afflicted” “with all thy waves”; but, if we “Selah” for a moment and truly consider how His ways are not our ways, and that they are higher and ordained for our ultimate good, it can and does become possible through Christ to bear even these scriptures and to be confident that together we can drink this cup that Christ himself said we indeed would have to drink.

Mat 20:23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

Psa 88:8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
Psa 88:9 Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.

Verse 8 is a shadow of how we are hated of all men for His name’s sake (Mat 10:22). Our “acquaintance” of this verse can be anyone who has been close to us in this life, and it is God who is causing those close relationships of brothers and sisters and fathers to be destabilized (Mat 10:21, Luk 12:53) as a witness of the natural enmity that is in man, which God will conquer in every man in due time. We are “shut up”,H3607 and cannot come forth like a child in the womb, but like that child we groan and rejoice in knowing that our Lord is at hand and that He has experienced the same limitations in his flesh and is able to deliver us through the destruction of the first man Adam (Luk 1:41, 2Th 2:8, Gen 38:28).

H3607 kaw-law’: A primitive root; to restrict, by act (hold back or in) or word (prohibit): – finish, forbid, keep (back), refrain, restrain, retain, shut up, be stayed, withhold.

Even when we have “stretched out my hands unto thee”, and called daily upon him, this does not assure us that he will answer any prayer right away, but in His perfect timing and with our hearts stedfastly obeying him as we wrestle through the night, God has promised that going through that enduring process to the end will bring about the answer to those strong tears that He gives us.

Psa 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Heb 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

Psa 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
1Jn 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Lord willing, next week we will conclude our three-part study entitled “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst” and see how God uses our suffering and experience of evil in this life to bring us to cry out and examine where we are in this life as we begin to thirst for those living waters which we are so incredibly blessed to have a hunger for today.

Luk 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

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