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The introduction to Psalm 88 says, “A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.” Have you ever wondered who Heman was? Jewish literature says Heman was a gifted musician and singer. He must have been. He wrote a Psalm that made it into our Bible. If we connect the scripture dots we see that he was also the grandson of Samuel, judge of Israel (1 Chron 6:33), was blessed with many sons and daughters (1 Chron 25:4-6), was one of the three primary musicians David appointed to ministry (1 Chron 25:3) and his wisdom was compared to Solomon’s (1 Kings 4:31).
But the same Jewish literature also says that Heman was a leper. That would explain the sorrow and despair that resonates throughout this Psalm. We don’t know at what point Heman became a leper but in Psalm 88, we see Him crying out to God day and night. How hopeless he must have felt… and useless. As gifted as he was as a singer and songwriter; he could no longer use his gifts where he wanted to the most – to serve in the temple.
For you see, his leprosy would have disqualified him from serving. Where he was once a renowned psalmist in the House of the Lord, maybe he now had to resort to singing on street corners to make ends meet. He probably thought that his life had no meaning. That he had no purpose except to wait for death to finally come.
I wonder what he would have said had he known that his Psalm would be read for centuries to come. That it would resonate with others in that same place of despair. That his pain had a purpose. Even though Heman thought that he was disqualified, God didn’t think so. Heman’s song of despair lives on forever as Psalm 88, touching far more people than he would have ever reached if he had served in the temple.
Those in charge of choosing the psalmists disqualified Him based on the laws in the Torah. But God found a way to use the work of a dejected, depressed singer-songwriter for centuries to come.
Maybe you think you have nothing left to give to Jesus. Or that your pain and struggles disqualify you from ministry in or outside of the church. But nothing and no one can ever disqualify you from your purpose. God created your purpose specifically for you. He won’t take it away from you and give it to someone else because it wasn’t created for them. You will never be disqualified from your destiny.
Prayer: Father, thank you that you designed my purpose just for me and no matter what I struggle with, I will never be disqualified from fulfilling your calling on my life. Help me not to despair when I feel less than worthy, but to always look to you, the lifter of my head.
Deborah Ruck @ As Bold As THE Lion blog