77:0We do not know who wrote Psalm 77. Something bad had happened to him or to his people, the Jews. God let the bad thing happen, and did not give help. Did this mean that God had forgotten his people? No! The end of the psalm tells us that God gave help in the past. He can send help again to the psalmist, if the psalmist waits. The psalmist may have read the Book of Habakkuk before he wrote Psalm 77. This tells a story like that in Psalm 77. The Jews could not understand why God did not give them help. The prophet Habakkuk wrote that they must have faith. This means they must believe that one day God will send help.
Questions and Answers
77:0The psalm is in 4 parts:
Verses 1-3: The psalmist thinks about the bad things that happened to him or his people.
Verses 4-9: He asks God if God will ever send help again.
Verses 10-15: The psalmist remembers what God did a long time ago.
Verses 16-20: The psalmist remembers when God led his people through the Red Sea when they left Egypt.
This is for the music leader.
His name is Jeduthun.
It is a Psalm of Asaph.
1 I cried aloud to God.
I cried to God so that he could hear me.
2 When trouble came, I looked for the Lord.
All through the night, I lifted my hands to him while I prayed.
But I did not get help.
77:2The Jews lifted their hands to God when they prayed.
3 I remembered God and I cried.
I thought about my trouble and my spirit became weak
77:3We do not know what the trouble was.
4 God, you do not let me close my eyes.
I have so much trouble that I do not know what to say.
77:4This means that the psalmist cannot sleep and does not know what to pray.
5 I think about days that have gone
and the years that have passed.
6 At night I remember the songs that I sang.
I ask myself questions and my spirit looks for answers.
7 · ‘Will the Lord always say 'No' to us?’
· ‘Will he never again be good to us?’
8 · ‘Will he for ever stop giving us his kind love?’
· ‘Will he not do what he promised for us and our children?’
9 · ‘Has God forgotten to be gracious to us?’
· ‘Is he so angry with us that he will not love us?’
77:9Verses 7-9: Here are 6 questions which the psalmist asked. They mean ‘Will God ever help us again?’ Often, we ask these questions. Did the psalmist get an answer to them?
10 Then I said, ‘I will think about the times
when the Most High God did give us help.
11 I will remember the things that the Lord has done.
Yes, I will remember the miracles that you did in past times.
12 I will think about all that you have done.
I will think about all the great things that you have done.’
13 Your way, God, is holy.
What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God that does miracles.
You show people that you are very powerful.
15 You saved your people with your strong arm.
You saved the people of Jacob and Joseph.
77:15In verses 10-15, the psalmist answers his own questions. First, he remembers the things that God has done, verses 10-12. He remembers that God is a GOD OF MIRACLES. This means that God does things that nobody else can do, as when he led his people through the Red Sea.
Then he remembers who God is and what he can still do. God is holy, God is great, God is very powerful. God saves people. GOD DOES MIRACLES, verses 13-14. In verse 15 ‘with your arm’ means ‘what you have done on earth.’ All through the Old Testament, ‘the arm of God’ is a picture of God doing something on earth, not in heaven.
16 The waters saw you, God,
the waters saw you and rolled over and over.
The deepest seas moved round a lot.
17 The clouds poured down water.
The noise of thunder was in the skies.
Your arrows were everywhere.
18 The voice of your thunder was in the storm.
Your lightning lit all the world.
The earth moved about and shook.
19 Your road went through the sea.
Your path was through the great waters,
but nobody saw where your feet went.
20 You led your people in a group
with Moses and Aaron at the front.
77:20Verses 16-20 are about God leading his people from Egypt to their new home. They had to go through the Red Sea. God was so powerful; he pushed the water of the sea back. He made a dry road through the sea for his people.
In verses 16-20, we read about what God did, and can do. The psalmist does not ask God to do these things again, but we think that he said them as a prayer. It was a prayer for God to be himself, and to do something again for his people.