PSALM 77#A community lament in which the speaker (“I”) describes the anguish of Israel at God’s silence when its very existence is at stake (Ps 77:2–11). In response the speaker recites the story of how God brought the people into existence (Ps 77:12–20). The question is thus posed to God: Will you allow the people you created to be destroyed?
Confidence in God During National Distress
1For the leader; According to Jeduthun. A psalm of Asaph.
2I cry aloud to God,
I cry to God to hear me.
3On the day of my distress I seek the Lord;
by night my hands are stretched out unceasingly;#a. [77:3] Ps 50:15; 88:2.
I refuse to be consoled.
4When I think of God, I groan;
as I meditate, my spirit grows faint.#b. [77:4] Jon 2:8.Selah
5You have kept me from closing my eyes in sleep;
I am troubled and cannot speak.
6I consider the days of old;
the years long past 7I remember.#c. [77:7] Ps 143:5; Dt 32:7.
At night I ponder in my heart;
and as I meditate, my spirit probes:
8“Will the Lord reject us forever,#d. [77:8–10] Ps 13:2; 44:24; 74:1; 80:5; 89:47; Lam 3:31.
never again show favor?
9Has God’s mercy ceased forever?
The promise to go unfulfilled for future ages?
10Has God forgotten how to show mercy,
in anger withheld his compassion?”Selah
11#I conclude: lit., “I said.” The psalmist, after pondering the present distress and God’s promises to Israel, has decided that God has forgotten the people. I conclude: “My sorrow is this,
the right hand of the Most High has abandoned us.”#e. [77:11] Ps 17:7; 18:36; Ex 15:6, 12.
12#I will recall: the verb sometimes means to make present the great deeds of Israel’s past by reciting them, cf. Ps 78:42; 105:5; 106:7.I will recall the deeds of the Lord;
yes, recall your wonders of old.#f. [77:12] Ps 143:5.
13I will ponder all your works;
on your exploits I will meditate.
14Your way, God, is holy;
what god is as great as our God?#g. [77:14] Ps 18:31; Ex 15:11.
15You are the God who does wonders;
among the peoples you have revealed your might.#h. [77:15] Ps 86:10; 89:6.
16With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph.#i. [77:16] Gn 46:26–27; Neh 1:10.Selah
17The waters saw you, God;
the waters saw you and lashed about,
even the deeps of the sea#The deeps of the sea: Heb. tehom; the same word is used in Gn 1:2, where it alludes to the primeval seas which in ancient Semitic cosmography are tamed by God in creation, cf. Ps 74:12–17; 89:12–13 and notes. trembled.#j. [77:17] Ps 18:16; 114:3; Na 1:4.
18The clouds poured down their rains;
the thunderheads rumbled;
your arrows flashed back and forth.#k. [77:18] Ps 18:14–15; 29; 144:6; Jb 37:3–4; Wis 5:21; Hab 3:10–11; Zec 9:14.
19The thunder of your chariot wheels resounded;
your lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and quaked.#l. [77:19] Ps 18:8; 97:4; 99:1; Ex 19:16; Jgs 5:4–5.
20Through the sea was your way;
your path, through the mighty waters,
though your footsteps were unseen.#m. [77:20] Neh 9:11; Wis 14:3; Is 51:10; Hab 3:15.
21You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.#n. [77:21] Ps 78:52; Is 63:11–14; Hos 12:14; Mi 6:4.