The psalm appointed for today’s Morning Prayer is 88. [i] The psalmist starts off complaining about his life; how it’s full of trouble, close to Sheol, and there’s no one to help, in spite of prayers for help. The psalm continues:
10 Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the shades rise up to praise you?
11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
or your faithfulness in Abaddon? [ii]
12 Are your wonders known in the darkness,
or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?
The implied answer is no; so the psalmist continues questioning God about the miseries of life.
However, the implied answer is incorrect. God does work wonders for the dead; the dead will/do praise God, God’s love is declared in the grave, in Abaddon, God’s wonders will be/is known in darkness, among those who have forgotten. Were it not so, there would be no hope; however, by God’s incomprehensible love there is always mercy, therein there is always hope. The irony is the psalmist knows this, after all the psalm being addressing God of my salvation.
And now I find myself thinking of the man born blind in John 9. His accidental [iii] encounter with Jesus leads to him becoming a child of light.
I suppose 88+9 = 15 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. [iv]
[ii] angel of the bottomless pit, parallel with Sheol and death, Holman Bible Dictionary.
[iii] accidental in that he does not ask Jesus for healing, the disciples see him, wonder about the source of his blindness, and the rest his biblical.
[iv] John 1:5