• The Bald Believer

Not The Master of The Universe


Psalm 88

A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.

1O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: 2Let my prayer come before thee: Incline thine ear unto my cry; 3For my soul is full of troubles: And my life draweth nigh unto the grave. 4I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength: 5Free among the dead, Like the slain that lie in the grave, Whom thou rememberest no more: And they are cut off from thy hand. 6Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, In darkness, in the deeps. 7Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, And thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah. 8Thou 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. 9Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: Lord, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee. 10Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah. 11Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? Or thy faithfulness in destruction? 12Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? And thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? 13But unto thee have I cried, O Lord; And in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. 14Lord, why Castest thou off my soul? Why hidest thou thy face from me? 15I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: While I suffer thy terrors I am distracted. 16Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; Thy terrors have cut me off. 17They came round about me daily like water; They compassed me about together. 18Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, And mine acquaintance into darkness.


Can you imagine how goofy I looked? I had a plastic sword and a pair of shorts. I donned no shirt despite my bony frame (what I thought were abs were actually ribs). I had two belts strapped across my chest to form an x. I raised my sword into the air and hollered out, “I have the power!”

I was He-man!

Actually, I wasn’t even close. I was just a little boy with a very active and nerdy imagination, acting out what he had seen in his favorite childhood cartoon.

I was not the master of the universe.

Today’s Psalm was written by a Heman. Look at the introduction to our Psalm.

A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.

Who was this Heman?

He is mentioned as a singer and a leader of the sons of Korah, a group in charge of the composition and playing of music for the Temple worship.

1 Chronicles 6:33 And these are they that waited with their children. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman a singer, the son of Joel, the son of Shemuel,

The Bible tells us that Heman the Ezrahite was considered one of the wisest men of his time.


When talking about Solomon’s wisdom, they compared him to Heman.

1 Kings 4:30–31 30 And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about.

Solomon may have been wiser than Heman, but just having your name brought up in comparison is quite the compliment.

This Heman wasn’t the master of the universe either!

He didn’t yell, “I have the power” with sword stretched high, he admits freely that he lacked power.

Psalm 88:4 I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:

As a matter of fact, this Heman wrote what I believe to be the darkest and most sad of all the Psalms.

In Psalm 88 he mentions lonliness 5 times and darkness 4 times and even ends this prayer with that dreary word.

Psalm 88:18 Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, And mine acquaintance into darkness.

His is the only Psalm to end in darkness. It is not uncommon to have a psalmist confess periods of depression and despair, but they typically end with some statement of faith and hope, not this one. This is a Psalm packed full of negativity. It never gets better, it just stays in the dungeon.

One thing that he prayed especially stood out to me.

Psalm 88:15 I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: While I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.

It is as though he is saying to God “You have never been there for me”. Obviously, that isn’t true. I don’t know what he has wrong with him, but I know Heman was blessed above his peers. God had graced him with wisdom and skill above most of his nation. He was known for his singing skill and held a position of national leadership. There is something about dark times that make us blind to blessings and only see the bad.

No, Heman was not the master of his universe. He was almost as down as a man can descend.

So, why is this Debbie-Downer of a Psalm even in the Bible?

Let me point out a few quick thoughts about this Psalm and why such a depressing and negative prayer is even included in Scripture

1. This Psalm tells us something good about our Heavenly Father


Our God is the Master of the Universe!

Our God is the Master of the Universe and yet he welcomes honest discussion. God included this Psalm in his Word because he as a good father wants you to come completely and honestly to him! He wants to hear your whole heart not just the positive parts.

2. This Psalm tells us something good about Heman

During the trial of Job the Devil made an accusation against him and God himself.

Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

In other words, “does he serve you for free?” Satan was saying, “he serves you because you reward him.”

It was more of a disparagement of God than Job. Satan was telling the Lord that he didn’t have anyone that loved and served him without payment. He was telling God that he had to buy all of his friends.

But look at Heman, he doesn’t feel that all is well and yet he continues to pray. He doesn’t see answers and yet he asks. Something is in his soul that draws him back to God. He keeps praying, he keeps coming back. He is willing to serve God when it appears that he isn’t getting anything out of it!

3. It tells us something good about hope


Church Fathers believed this Psalm was actually about Christ! The darkness was a prediction they believed, foretelling the cross and the darkness and loneliness Jesus would endure.

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

Our Lord was in total darkness! He was alone and forsaken.

He faced that darkness and abandonment so you and I would not have to be alone.

You may feel alone in darkness but it only feels that way! You are never forsaken, never alone!


You and I are not masters of our universe but the one that is, is with us and for us!

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