You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me. My companions have become darkness.
– Psalm 88:18
This is one of many places in the Psalms, whether it’s King David at different points or other psalmists, crying out to God when they have been betrayed or shunned.
Psalm 88:18 Points to the Sobering Reality of Broken Relationships in this World
The word here in verse 18 says, “by their friends, by their beloved.” Psalm 88, verse 18 says, “by companions who have become darkness to them.” And I just want to lead us to meditate on this reality that I’m guessing we all are in some sense, familiar with, or will be familiar with at some point in our lives, in this broken world, and to pray accordingly, to let God’s word lead us to pray in light of broken relationships in this world. Specifically in light of times where people we looked to and leaned on, who we love and they loved us. They have loved us. We’ve experienced friendship. But now we are shunned by them. Their companionship is like darkness over us.
The imagery here is so sobering and sad. Yet the psalmist is looking to God. Asking for help from the God who will never shun him, the God who will never become darkness to him. The God whose light will always shine on him as he looks to God. This is a good reminder that God will never leave us, never forsake us. Even when we are betrayed or hurt by someone, maybe the person who is closest to us, this is not a reflection of God to us.
Psalm 88:18 Reminds Us that God will Always Remain Faithful
God will never hurt us. For all who trust in God, who trust in Jesus, who know God as father, he will always be a faithful father. For all who are part of the bride of Christ, with Jesus as our husband, he will always, always, always be a faithful husband. We can trust in our God to always be a faithful friend.
So let’s pray in light of this. Just think of the different directions Psalm 88 leads us to pray. God, first and foremost, above all, we are so thankful for your faithfulness. God, we praise you as our faithful friend, faithful father, and faithful husband, Lord Jesus. We are so thankful to be your bride, to be in relationship, in covenant with you, to be your children around your table, to know you as our friend.
All glory be to your name, for your faithfulness to us, for your promises, to us, for your presence with us. We praise you that your light will shine upon us every day as we look to you. You will not shun us. We don’t ever have to be afraid of that. All glory be to your name, and that security that we find in you. We pray for your help amidst broken relationships in this world.
And God, I just think of so many different circumstances, so many different situations that lead to this kind of hurt where someone who is beloved in our life now shuns us or companions who have become darkness to us. God, we ask for restoration of those relationships. Lord, we pray that you would do everything that’s needed in our hearts and in their hearts to bring about that reconciliation, restoration. God, we pray for that.
Praying for Forgiveness and Restoration of Broken Relationships
Please bring healing where healing’s needed, forgiveness where forgiveness is needed, and renew the joy of relationship with this person or these people. We pray for that, God. And we know that in this sinful world, that that relationship might not be restored. God, we pray you’d help us to work toward that end. Help us, help us, help us to work toward that end. God, if it doesn’t restore in the way we would long for in this world, God, we pray to the extent of which these are relationships with other brothers and sisters in Christ, God, we can’t wait for the day when that relationship will be restored.
And God, if this person or the people who come to our mind are not following you, not trusting in you, God, we pray that you would bring them to follow you, to trust in you, to be restored to relationship with you in a way that then opens the door for restoration of our relationship with them in a deep, meaningful, eternal way that only you can make happen. God, we pray that you’d help us to keep our eyes fixed on you. Help us to be a reflection of your character and your love amidst broken relationships in this world. In Jesus name we pray, according to Psalm chapter 88, verse 18. Amen.