Reflections of the Psalms – Psalm 77

Posted on: May 30th, 2021

The words that are found in Psalm 77 could have easily been written by a man or woman of the 21st century rather than during the Old Testament period. The theme is familiar. A man is deeply immersed in some kind of problem or suffering and he is looking closely at his faith to find answers for what is happening, and what will help him to deal with his trouble.

In verse 2-4 the Psalmist wrote, “In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; my hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.”

Many people have “walked the floor” with a problem in much the same way as described by the Psalmist. All of the great men of faith in both the Old and New Testament periods had to deal with times of great distress and anguish. In verses 3 through 9, the Psalmist asked some hard questions; and, in a sense, he was reexam­ining the basis for his faith.

Today, as faithful Christians also deal with the problems of life, questions, worry, concern can fill the day. When this happens, some Christians are reluctant to go back and look again at the reasons why they are Christians. Some believe such practices are too much like doubting. But God said to “try” Him – “taste”, or experience being with him, THEN, stand firm.

The Psalmist took account of the reasons for his faith. As a Jew, his thoughts went back to the great events that brought into being the nation of Israel. In verses 10-12 he wrote, “And I said, “This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.”

For any member of the Jewish nation, the mighty deeds of God would center upon the time when the people of Israel were rescued from the bondage in Egypt and taken to the Promised Land. When in doubt, the writer thought back to what the Lord had done then. He also thought back to the promises that the Lord had made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and to Moses. After taking an inventory, the Psalmist KNEW that in spite of what happened, the Lord would be faithful to His people.

If the crossing of the Red Sea was a sign to the Jews, then Jesus Christ is the sign of God’s love and faithfulness for the Christian. When life becomes dark with the storm clouds of suffering, trials, and doubt, the Christian should follow the example of the Psalmist. Reexamine the basis of faith. God loved the world enough to sacrifice His son. God has also promised Eternal Life for those that accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. In addition, the Lord promised help in this life for those that love and follow him.

Peter made this very clear in 1 Peter 1:3-9, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”

So, when great problems arise that cause worry and distress; each Christian should strengthen himself, or herself, by looking back to the great event that is a sign of God’s love and faithfulness. A Christian can look to the promises the Lord has given to His children. Then the problems will be faced and overcome.

<James Shelburn>