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FRAMEWORKS: Psa 77: Remembering the Past


For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.


[Preliminary Comments: The psalmist in this song anguishes in a time when the Lord seems absent and he cries out to Him. As he thought about the Lord he remembered the stories that had been passed down through the centuries, the stories of God's love and His actions on behalf of this people He brought into being from the Patriarchs onwards. In one sense it is not a prayer for in fact he asks for nothing, but it is a remembrance of the sort of God they follow, even though clearly, in the present time, they were not seeing the great works of God. It thus reminds us that though we might prefer it, history is not a steady flow of development and blessing, especially when it comes to dealings with the Lord. Nevertheless, we need to constantly remind ourselves of history, of what He has done, in order to prepare us to receive the same in the present or coming days.]



v.1,2 The psalmist continues to cry out to the Lord


v.1  I cried out to God for help;
     I cried out to God to hear me.
v.2  When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
     at night I stretched out untiring hands,
     and I would not be comforted.


v.3,4 In complete anguish he thought on and turned to the Lord


v.3  I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
     I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
v.4  You kept my eyes from closing;
     I was too troubled to speak.

v.5,6 And thinking of Him he though back to what he knew of their past


v.5  I thought about the former days,
     the years of long ago;
v.6  I remembered my songs in the night.
     My heart meditated and my spirit asked:


v.7-9 From the steady relationship they had once known, had that now gone for ever?


v.7  “Will the Lord reject forever?
     Will he never show his favor again?
v.8  Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
     Has his promise failed for all time?
v.9  Has God forgotten to be merciful?
     Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”


v.10-13 He determined to remember the days of miracles they had known


v.10  Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
     the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
v.11  I will remember the deeds of the Lord ;
     yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
v.12  I will consider all your works
     and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

v.13  Your ways, God, are holy.
     What god is as great as our God?

v.14-20 He remembered the Lord's activities with the Patriarchs and to the Exodus


v.14  You are the God who performs miracles;
     you display your power among the peoples.
v.15  With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
     the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

v.16  The waters saw you, God,
     the waters saw you and writhed;
     the very depths were convulsed.
v.17  The clouds poured down water,
     the heavens resounded with thunder;
     your arrows flashed back and forth.
v.18  Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
     your lightning lit up the world;
     the earth trembled and quaked.
v.19  Your path led through the sea,
     your way through the mighty waters,
     though your footprints were not seen.

v.20  You led your people like a flock
     by the hand of Moses and Aaron.



[Additional Comments: It is worth working through these verses to see how they correspond with the history of Israel.]



Continue to Psa 78