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Psalm 77

By Henry Law

      A train of sorrows moves along this page. Relief is found in drawing near to God, and meditating on His wondrous works. We may have the same sufferings. May we find the same rescue!

      1. "I cried to God with my voice, even to God with my voice; and He gave ear to me."

      Before the Psalmist delineates his grievous state, he openly avows the action of his soul, and the remedy obtained. His voice was uplifted in earnest and repeated cries to God. He sowed good seed, and reaped success. Happy would be our case, if we converted sufferings into prayers, and made them gates of heaven. Let this be our resolve. It will turn darkness into light.

      2-4. "In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; my sore ran in the night, and ceased not; my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. You hold my eyes waking; I am so troubled that I cannot speak."

      The days of the godly are often thus darkened. Troubles are needed, and therefore will be sent. But they excite the soul to seek after God. We have not a long road to travel. He always is by our side.

      The Psalmist's present trouble seemed to be exceedingly heavy. The spiritual pain gave anguish like wounds festering in the night. There was no relief. The usual methods of consolation failed. His case seemed to be hopeless. Even the thought of God brought not its usual joy. Doubts cast a veil over His ready smiles. No sleep gave soothing ease. Utterance refused to be the outlet of distress. He watched in silence; and in mute anguish mourned.

      5-6. "I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night; I commune with my own heart; and my spirit made diligent search."

      In meditation he pondered the records of God's ancient dealings. The annals abounded in evidence that God's love had never failed. They displayed His arm always mighty to deliver. He next reviewed his own eventful story. He remembered times of lively joy, when the night heard his songs of praise. It is well that the same periods be treasured in our minds. Past pleasures should revive. He sought, also, the cause of his discomfort. He probed the recesses of his heart. He used all efforts to discover what leaks admitted these waters of bitterness.

      7-9. "Will the Lord cast off forever? and will He be favorable no more? Is His mercy clean gone forever? does His promise fail forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? has He in anger shut up His tender mercies?"

      Wave upon wave of doubts and fears break over the mind. Apprehensions in terrific forms appear like specters. God's dark frown of anger seems to look down. Smiles are obscured by unbroken gloom. The gate of favor no longer opens. He trembles lest he should be cast off forever, and mercy no longer give solace. He plaintively inquires, "Will lovingkindness no longer cheer me?"

      He had feasted on the rich meal of precious promises; these promises no longer brought support. Can it be that he is forever excluded from this heritage of God's people? Grace is God's delight. Can He forget this exercise of His goodness? Has anger so barred the door that tender mercies can have no passage? Thus he questioned; and the questions seemed to imply that such doubts must be groundless temptations.

      10. "And I said, This is my infirmity; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High."

      Faith, though it had been downcast, revives. The Psalmist sees that all this disconsolation sprang from his own weakness. Spiritual power had failed. The real cause was not in the wavering love of God, but in decline of holy trust. He confesses, This is my own infirmity. He sees the remedy. He looks back to God's dealings in the long history of His Church. Ages have passed; but ages have brought no diminution in God's power. His right hand, which had wrought such wonders, is His right hand still, and never can grow weak.

      11-12. "I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate also of all Your work, and talk of Your doings."

      Reviving faith returns to God, and drooping doubts are cast aside. It flies on renovated wings to contemplate God's wonder-working hand. It enters the precious treasury full of past records. Here it finds renewal of assurance. Happy meditation traverses the path impressed by heavenly footsteps. Thus refreshed, it opens the mouth in edifying conversation. Those who fear the Lord will speak often one to another. The words of their mouths, as well as the meditation of their hearts, will be acceptable in His sight. To God also thanksgivings ascend. The knowledge of His glorious works is the fruitful parent of adoration.

      13. "Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; who is so great a God as our God?"

      The footsteps of the Lord are clearly seen in the ordinances of His house. It is the school of heavenly lessons. There His Word reveals His character. There intelligence illumines devout worshipers. They contemplate with open eyes God's majesty, and glory, and grace, and love. The thought cannot be repressed that His every attribute is infinite. Where is greatness like His greatness! What power can be compared to His! To know Him is to lie low at His feet in boundless adoration.

      14-15. "You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the people. You have with Your arm redeemed Your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph."

      His sublime works shine as the midday sun. His omnipotence appears as an impregnable shield and an all-conquering sword. His omnipotence is as strong now as in the days of old. His arm has been displayed in redeeming His chosen people from the furnace of affliction, and from the iron grasp of relentless foes. But this power most brightly shines in redeeming His own from the powers of darkness, and saving them from the chains of the arch-enemy of souls. In contemplation of this work the shout breaks forth, "Who is so great a God as our God!"

      16-18. "The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you; they were afraid; the depths also were troubled. The clouds poured out water; the skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also went abroad. The voice of Your thunder was in the heaven; the lightnings lightened the world; the earth trembled and shook."

      The waters of the sea opposed a barrier to the fleeing Israelites. Deep billows stopped an advance. But God appears; they tremble and retreat; they leave a dry passage. Throughout, also, the march in the wilderness, all nature seemed arrayed to provoke the opponents of God's people. A deluge poured down from above. The skies peeled with appalling sounds. The thunder and lightning fought on their behalf. So, also, by miracles warring on their side, the people were established in the land of Canaan.

      19-20. "Your way is in the sea, and Your path in the great waters, and Your footsteps are not known. You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron."

      The ways of the Lord are past finding out. It is our wisdom to trust His heart, when we have no skill to trace His hand. Who could have imagined the dividing of the waters of the sea! The like had never before been seen! Faith learns the happy lesson, that though God's dealings are inscrutable, no impossibilities can impede Him. The good Shepherd will be a faithful guardian of His flock. At His will He can raise up ministers to be their guide. As Moses and Aaron went before the rescued hosts, so appointed leaders shall watch over His people. Let none distrust who have this God for their God.

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See Also:
   Psalm 1
   Psalm 2
   Psalm 3
   Psalm 4
   Psalm 5
   Psalm 6
   Psalm 7
   Psalm 8
   Psalm 9
   Psalm 10
   Psalm 11
   Psalm 12
   Psalm 13
   Psalm 14
   Psalm 15
   Psalm 16
   Psalm 17
   Psalm 18
   Psalm 19
   Psalm 20
   Psalm 21
   Psalm 22
   Psalm 23
   Psalm 24
   Psalm 25
   Psalm 26
   Psalm 27
   Psalm 28
   Psalm 29
   Psalm 30
   Psalm 31
   Psalm 32
   Psalm 33
   Psalm 34
   Psalm 35
   Psalm 36
   Psalm 37
   Psalm 38
   Psalm 39
   Psalm 40
   Psalm 41
   Psalm 42
   Psalm 43
   Psalm 44
   Psalm 45
   Psalm 46
   Psalm 47
   Psalm 48
   Psalm 49
   Psalm 50
   Psalm 51
   Psalm 52
   Psalm 53
   Psalm 54
   Psalm 55
   Psalm 56
   Psalm 57
   Psalm 58
   Psalm 59
   Psalm 60
   Psalm 61
   Psalm 62
   Psalm 63
   Psalm 64
   Psalm 65
   Psalm 66
   Psalm 67
   Psalm 68
   Psalm 69
   Psalm 70
   Psalm 71
   Psalm 72
   Psalm 72
   Psalm 74
   Psalm 75
   Psalm 76
   Psalm 77
   Psalm 78
   Psalm 79
   Psalm 80
   Psalm 81
   Psalm 82
   Psalm 83
   Psalm 84
   Psalm 85
   Psalm 86
   Psalm 87
   Psalm 88
   Psalm 89
   Psalm 90
   Psalm 91
   Psalm 92
   Psalm 93
   Psalm 94
   Psalm 95
   Psalm 96
   Psalm 97
   Psalm 98
   Psalm 99
   Psalm 100
   Psalm 101
   Psalm 102
   Psalm 103
   Psalm 104
   Psalm 105
   Psalm 106
   Psalm 107
   Psalm 108
   Psalm 109
   Psalm 110
   Psalm 111
   Psalm 112
   Psalm 113
   Psalm 114
   Psalm 115
   Psalm 116
   Psalm 117
   Psalm 118
   Psalm 119
   Psalm 120
   Psalm 121
   Psalm 122
   Psalm 123
   Psalm 124
   Psalm 125
   Psalm 126
   Psalm 127
   Psalm 128
   Psalm 129
   Psalm 130
   Psalm 131
   Psalm 132
   Psalm 133
   Psalm 134
   Psalm 135
   Psalm 136
   Psalm 137
   Psalm 138
   Psalm 139
   Psalm 140
   Psalm 141
   Psalm 142
   Psalm 143
   Psalm 144
   Psalm 145
   Psalm 146
   Psalm 147
   Psalm 148
   Psalm 149
   Psalm 150


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