“I cry aloud to God.” Asaph, or a psalmist who served later in Asaph’s tradition, called out to the Lord day and night with the confidence that God heard him. He was in great trouble, but he would not give up.
The writer considered “the years long ago.” He struggled to find stability in his meditations. “Let me remember my song in the night.” He brought his honest questions to the Almighty. He even wondered if the Lord had “forgotten to be gracious.”
He made his appeal to God as he considered eternity past and the many centuries of the Lord’s care for His people. He wrote of “the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
He considered God at a time when it was so easy to feel overwhelmed by the facts of his own troubles. He found a better perspective in turning all of his attention toward Yahweh. He considered the Lord’s deeds, His wonders, His works—the Lord’s holiness, His power, and all His merciful acts of redemption for His chosen people.
The Lord of Israel was also the God who controlled the waters all over the earth. He had made a way through the Red Sea for Moses and the people of Israel. When they were trapped and could find no pathway to life, their God had opened up a road for them in the midst of the waters. The Almighty God had saved them through the most desperate difficulties.
“You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.” This is where Psalm 77 ends, but it is not where the Bible ends. The God of the exodus visited His people in the ministry of His Son. He amazed His disciples when He calmed the storm and walked on the water. In His great covenant love, He gave His life to redeem us from sin and death. He took the thunder and lightening of God’s wrath so that we might know eternal peace.
There is an important practical lesson in Psalm 77 for God’s people in every era. When we are overwhelmed with distress, we can think about Him. Think about who He is, and consider what He has accomplished for us. Even now, the one who gave Himself for our transgressions is leading us out of the waters of despair by His Holy Spirit. He will hear us and help us when we cry out to Him. We can turn our attention away from ourselves by singing about Him.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Merciful Lord, hear our prayer. We turn to You night and day. Why is there so much trouble in our hearts? Where is our faith? Have You given up on Your covenant faithfulness? Never, O Lord! We meditate upon the history of our redemption throughout many centuries. We also consider the strength of Your promises. You will hear us and help us. We believe in You. We have faith in Your Son Jesus, who leads us through a dangerous wilderness.