Psalm 88:16

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 16. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me. What an expression, "fierce wrath", and it is a man of God who feels it! Do we seek an explanation? It seemed so to him, but "tidings are not what they seem." No punitive anger ever falls upon the saved one, for Jesus shields him from it all; but a father's anger may fall upon his dearest child, none the less but all the more, because he loves it. Since Jesus bore my guilt as my substitute, my Judge cannot punish me, but my Father can and will correct me. In this sense the Father may even manifest "fierce wrath" to his erring child, and under a sense of it that dear broken down one may be laid in the dust and covered with wretchedness, and yet for all that he may be accepted and beloved of the Lord all the while. Heman represents God's wrath as breaking over him as waves over a wreck.

Thy terrors have cut me off. They have made me a marked man, they have made me feel like a leper separated from the congregation of thy people, and they have caused others to look upon me as no better than dead. Blessed be God this is the sufferer's idea and not the very truth, for the Lord will neither cast off nor cut off his people, but will visit his mourners with choice refreshments.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 16. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me. Like a sea of liquid fire; ( Psalms 42:7 ) --Heb. "Thy hot wraths." LXX (Septuagint) ai orgai sou --William Kay

Verse 16. Thy terrors have cut me off. In the Hebrew verb the last syllable is repeated for the purpose of putting vehemence into the expression. The word tm[ signifies, to shut up and press into some narrow place, in order that; one may not breathe or escape ... In this sense Gregory Nazianzen in his

first oration concerning peace, calls grief (the prison of the heart). -- Mollerus.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 16. --

  1. Good men are often tried men.
  2. Tried men frequently misjudge the Lord's dealings.
  3. The Lord does not take them at their word, he is better than their fears. -- G.R.