A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.

In this doleful psalm, after a very short declaration of his faith, we have, (1.) Heman’s bitter wailing over his distressed case, that his troubles were great; his body at the point of death; his soul filled with grief; his God hiding and angry; his mind distressed with terrors; and his friends unkind, ver. 3-9, 14-18. (2.) His bitter groans to, and expostulations with God, importing, that he had long cried for mercy, and that in death nothing could be done for him, etc., ver. 1-2, 9-14.

While I sing, let me think how dreadful hell must be, when even fatherly chastisements are so severe; how dreadful the enormity of sin, which provokes God so grievously to afflict his dearest favourites; and how necessary it is to retain our faith of our relation to God, amidst the worst of troubles.

1 Lord God, my Savior, day and night
before thee cried have I.
2 Before thee let my prayer come;
give ear unto my cry.

3 For troubles great do fill my soul;
my life draws nigh the grave.
4 I’m counted with those that go down
to pit, and no strength have.

5 Ev’n free among the dead, like them
that slain in grave do lie;
Cut off from thy hand, whom no more
thou hast in memory.

6 Thou hast me laid in lowest pit,
in deeps and darksome caves.
7 Thy wrath lies hard on me, thou hast
me pressed with all thy waves.

8 Thou hast put far from me my friends,
thou mad’st them to abhor me;
And I am so shut up, that I
find no evasion for me.

9 By reason of affliction
mine eye mourns dolefully:
To thee, Lord, do I call, and stretch
my hands continually.

10 Wilt thou show wonders to the dead?
shall they rise, and thee bless?
11 Shall in the grave thy love be told?
in death thy faithfulness?

12 Shall thy great wonders in the dark,
or shall thy righteousness
Be known to any in the land
of deep forgetfulness?

13 But, Lord, to thee I cried; my pray’r
at morn prevent shall thee.
14 Why, Lord, dost thou cast off my soul,
and hid’st thy face from me?

15 Distressed am I, and from my youth
I ready am to die;
Thy terrors I have borne, and am
distracted fearfully.

16 The dreadful fierceness of thy wrath
quite over me doth go:
Thy terrors great have cut me off,
they did pursue me so.

17 For round about me ev’ry day,
like water, they did roll;
And, gathering together, they
have compassed my soul.

18 My friends thou hast put far from me,
and him that did me love;
And those that mine acquaintance were
to darkness didst remove.