There are bleak Psalms and then there’s the 88th Psalm. It doesn’t get much darker than this:
“You have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness is my closest friend.” (v. 18)
At times the question is raised: are the Psalms biblical? “Biblical” is a loaded word and sometimes it can get thrown around in unhealthy ways. And yet it is a fair, and intriguing, question, especially in light of the hopelessness of Psalm 88.
How does this belong?
If you try to fit Psalm 88 into a neat and tidy theological framework it doesn’t hold…you have to rationalize it away or not read it.
But it’s there. Right between the musical joy of 87 and 89.
And that might be the point. The psalms are not an instruction manual
or a theological treatise,
they are life.
And sometimes life is happy
and full of singing and rejoicing,
and other times life is painful
and full of darkness.
The point is not to try to distill a lesson from psalm 88. Just let it be there.
Because, sometimes there is no answer.
Sometimes there is no resolution.
Sometimes there is only darkness.