The Lord loves the gates of Zion where His people dwell, including Israel and now the church. God envisions a day when Israel's enemies, Egypt and Babylon, come into a personal relationship with Him along with other nations, Philistia, Tyre and Ethiopia. Just as the world celebrates leaders and difference makers, God takes pride in His church and their accomplishments in His kingdom purposes. His people praise Him since every joy originates with God (Ps. 87:1-7). God loves His people whom He created for Himself.
What God's people experience in the world contrasts greatly from Ps. 87, especially the last verse: "All my springs of joy are in you" (Ps. 87:7):
1. Cried out day and night because his soul had so many troubles drawing him near Sheol
2. Without strength
3. Forsaken and alone among the dead
4. Put in lowest and dark place
5. God's wrath rested on him
6. Afflicted with waves of emotion
7. Isolated from all his acquaintances who loathed him
8. Eye wasted away because of affliction
9. Called upon God every day (Ps. 88:1-9). You experience great suffering that makes life uncomfortable.
The Psalmist's dismal condition required knowledge of God's attributes to bring peace and sense of meaning. With a series of questions, the Psalmist declared God's attributes providing hope:
1. Will God perform wonders for the dead?
2. Will the dead rise and praise God?
3. Will God's lovingkindness and faithfulness be declared in the grave?
4. Will God's wonders and righteousness be known in the darkness? (Ps. 88:10-12). Knowing God's attributes provides stability and hope in suffering.
When the Psalmist cried out to God, it seemed like He didn't hear or answer his prayer. The great grief, affliction and suffering he experienced felt like death or drowning in water. His family and friends didn't understand what he was going through (Ps. 88:13-18). Acknowledge your negative emotions in crying out to God.
What are you experiencing right now? How does that make you feel? Cry out to God telling Him your feelings? Remember God's love and His joy in you.