Summary: THE LONELINESS OF BEING FORSAKEN BY GOD AND MAN MAKES LIFE IN THE PITS INTOLERABLE
THE LONELINESS OF BEING FORSAKEN BY GOD AND MAN
MAKES LIFE IN THE PITS INTOLERABLE
This is the saddest psalm in the psalter; no glimmer of hope; for once we are left in the same state of despair as at the beginning of the psalm.
We know God’s promise that He will never leave us or forsake us; the Lord is our Helper
yet sometimes it seems that God has forsaken us.
There is tension between what we know intellectually about the character of God and how He relates to us and what we feel in our hearts in the desperation of the present crisis.
(cf. the experience of Christ which was unique because He was bearing our sins in His own body on the cross:
"My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?")
I. (:1-3) SOMETIMES GOD LETS US EXPERIENCE LIFE IN THE PITS
A. Prayers for Deliverance can go Unanswered (:1-2)
even though we know that God hears our prayers
B. Troubles can be Compounded so that it is more than we can bear (:3a)
even though we know that there is no temptation too great to bear
(1 Cor. 10:13)
"for my soul has had enough troubles"
C. Life in the Pits can bring us within an inch of Death (:3b)
"my life has drawn near to Sheol"
II. (:4-9) LIFE IN THE PITS BRINGS THE LONELINESS OF SEPARATION
A. Separation from Personal Resources (:4)
No Physical Strength
No Personal Prosperity
No Prospect for Recovery
"I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man without strength"
People look at me and conclude: "He’s down the tubes" -- no hope of recovery
B. Separation from Life Itself -- written off as good as dead (:5a)
"forsaken among the dead"
"like the slain who lie in the grave"
C. Separation from the Favor of God (consequence of being dead) (:5b) -- No Grace (Part 1)
"Whom Thou dost remember no more"
"And they are cut off from Thy hand"
even though we know that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8)
D. Separation at the Deepest Possible Level (:6)
"Thou hast put me in the lowest pit, in dark places, in the depths"
There are the pits ... and then there are the lowest pits
E. Separation from the Favor of God (Part 2) (:7) -- Wrath of God
"Thy wrath has rested upon me"
"Thou hast afflicted me with all Thy waves"
even though we know that we shall be saved from the wrath of God (Rom. 5:9)
F. Separation from all my Friends (:8)
"Thou hast removed my acquaintances far from me" -- Separated
"Thou hast made me an object of loathing to them" -- Despised
"I am shut up and cannot go out" --
G. Separation from the Favor of God (Part 3) (:9) -- No Response
Persistent prayers go unanswered
even though we know that God will respond to persistent prayers
III. (:10-12) LIFE IN THE PITS RAISES QUESTIONS OF DESPAIR
How can God be Glorified once I am dead?
A. "Wilt Thou perform wonders for the dead?" (:10)
"Will the departed spirits rise and praise Thee?
B. "Will Thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave?" (:11)
"thy faithfulness in Abaddon?"
C. "Will Thy wonders be made known in the darkness?" (:12)
"and Thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?".Never underestimate the power of God
IV. (:13-18) SOMETIMES WE CAN’T SEE ANY LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
A. Never Give Up! (:13)
no matter how long we remain in the pits, continue to cry out to the Lord for help
B. Questions of Despair have no easy answer (:14)
"O Lord, why dost Thou reject my soul?"
"Why dost Thou hide Thy face from me?"
C. The Pain of Loneliness and Separation is Very Real (:15-16)
1. Life in the Pits can drag on for a long time
"I was afflicted and about to die from my youth on"
2. The Wrath of God can Overwhelm me like a Flood
3. Separated from family and friends, I suffer alone
* * * * * * * * * *
1) When was the last time you experienced “life in the pits”? Did you think about the fact that God was right there with you?
2) Can you think of any people you know who are especially lonely and could use some encouragement?
3) Do we ever write people off as “down the tubes” when God has not forsaken them and still wants us to minister to them?
4) What are some of our typical “Questions of Despair”?
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