Psalm 88:9

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 9. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction. He wept his eyes out. He exhausted the lachrymal glands, he wore away the sight itself. Tears in showers are a blessing, and work our good; but in floods they become destructive and injurious.

Lord, I have called daily upon thee. His tears wetted his prayers, but did not damp then fervour. He prayed still, though no answer came to dry his eyes. Nothing can make a true believer cease praying; it is a part of his nature, and pray he must.

I have stretched out my hands unto thee. He used the appropriate posture of a supplicant, of his own accord; men need no posture maker, or master of the ceremonies, when they are eagerly pleading for mercy, nature suggests to them attitudes both natural and correct. As a little child stretches out its hands to its mother while it cries, so did this afflicted child of God. He prayed all over, his eyes wept, his voice cried, his hands were outstretched, and his heart broke. This was prayer indeed.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 9. Mine eye mourneth, ... I have called. Weeping must not hinder praying; we must sow in tears: "Mine eye mourns", but "I cry unto thee daily." Let prayers and tears go together, and they shall be accepted together: "I have heard thy prayers, I have seen thy tears." --Matthew Henry.

Verse 9. -- The first clause seems literally to mean the soreness and dimness of sight caused by excessive weeping, and is so taken by many of the commentators, and Lorinus aptly quotes a Latin poet, Catullus, in illustration: --

Moesta neque assiduo tabescere lumina fletu
Cessarent.
Nor my sad eyes to pine with constant tears
Could cease. --Neale's Commentary.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 9.

  1. Sorrow before God, -- "Mine eye", etc.
  2. Prayer to God, -- "have called", etc.
  3. Waiting for God, -- "called daily".
  4. Dependence on God, -- "I have stretched", etc. These hands can do nothing without thee. --G.R.