Daily Family Worship

Psalm 77: A Psalm for the Experienced Saint

by | May 23, 2024

psalm 77

This Psalm contains a most blessed doctrine. Here the Psalmist puts forth himself as an example, and his words are intended for the consolation of the children of God. He describes the unspeakable anguish and sorrow of a heart that is alarmed at the wrath of Jehovah and the terrors of sin; he says, in verse 4, that he was so overwhelmed with these terrors and sorrows that he could neither sleep nor speak. And in verses 7-10, he tells us what his feelings were when he was under this sense of sorrow and dread: “Will God forget to be merciful? Doth his promise fail for evermore?”

Days of trouble must be days of prayer; when the Lord seems to have withdrawn from us, we must seek Him until we find Him again. In the day of his deep soul-distress, Asaph did not seek for the diversion of business or amusement; rather, he sought God and His favor and grace. It would be well for us, when we are under trouble of mind, to pray it away. Asaph tells us how the methods that should have relieved his troubled spirit only had the effect of increasing his grief. When he remembered God, he could only think of His Divine justice and wrath. His spirit was overwhelmed and it sank under the load. Here is the language of a sorrowful and deserted soul, walking in darkness – a common case, even among those who fear the Lord (Isa. 50:10). Nothing wounds and pierces the heart and mind like the thought of God’s being angry; and even His own children, in dark and cloudy times, may be tempted to make wrong conclusions about their spiritual state, and the state of the Lord’s Kingdom in this world.

But we must not give way to such fears, for Faith can answer them from the Scriptures! Doubts and fears proceed from the weakness of faith; but when unbelief is working within our hearts, there is a way to suppress its risings and bring hope and relief to our spirits! The remembrance of the works of God (verses 11-20) is a powerful remedy against distrust of His promises and goodness; for He is God, and He never changes. That which He has done for His children in times past, He will assuredly do again! This is one of the greatest and best of all spiritual consolations. Herein we may immediately find comfort and deliverance if we cast away from our minds all these apprehensions of evils and sorrows which depress and distress us, and if we turn to the Word and works of God, and to the histories of His faithful doings and dealings from the beginning of the world. In the pages of Scripture, we will find that the works and doings of God – from the beginning of time – have been to show mercy, give salvation, and render help to the sorrowful, the distressed, the destitute, and the afflicted! Moreover, His same hand that works deliverance for His afflicted people has also been active in pouring out vengeance upon all who are proud and wicked despisers of His name and persecutors of His people. One of the most wondrous illustrations of His redemption of His people and destruction of their enemies was seen in how he delivered the Israelites at the Red Sea, and destroyed the Egyptians. Hence it is that the Psalmist says, “Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters” (verse 19). This was a picture of the great redemption that the Lord Jesus was to bring about, in the fullness of time – by both price and power. If we have harbored doubtful thoughts, we should immediately turn our minds to meditate on the Lord; for He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, so that with Him, He might freely give us all things!

            Remember this, dear brother or sister! This Psalm sets forth to us how the Lord works, and what He does in the midst of His Church and among His saints. And all this is written so that we may not despair in our perils and afflictions, even when we are beyond the reach of all human help! Rather, let us cast away all our own apprehensions and distressing thoughts, and let us begin to trust in God and to look for His Almighty help.

Lord, we repent of times when we have harbored doubtful thoughts in our hearts, instead of turning our minds to meditate upon Your Word and works. Thank You for Your everlasting faithfulness, which gives us comfort and peace – for as we remember the manner in which You have stood by Your saints in the days of old, and in the years of ancient time; we are encouraged to believe that what You did for them, You are prepared to do again for us! Amen.

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