In fact, a wide range of feelings are covered right within this psalm’s 20 verses. As you read and study Psalm 77, note how the writer appears to move from anguish to hope as he reflects on how God rescued his people in the past.
Interact with God’s Word: Psalm 77
- In verses 1 through 3, what feelings are being expressed and experienced by the psalmist?
- In what ways do the psalmist’s painful feelings intensify in verses 4 through 10? What are indications that he has fallen into deep despair? (See especially vv. 8-10).
- What shift takes place in verse 11? Why would constantly thinking about God’s past deeds have helped give the psalmist hope?
- What does this psalm imply about expressing emotions? About turning to God when life seems the darkest?
- When life seems particularly difficult, try to turn to this psalm (or others like it) for comfort, encouragement, and hope.
Spend Time in Prayer: Confess your tendency to keep your feelings bottled up or to express them in harmful ways; ask God’s Spirit to help you practice self-control; thank God for feelings of joy and for feelings that move you to repentance and positive action.
For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of Asaph.
1 I cry out to God; yes, I shout.
Oh, that God would listen to me!
2 When I was in deep trouble,
I searched for the Lord.
All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven,
but my soul was not comforted.
3 I think of God, and I moan,
overwhelmed with longing for his help.
4 You don’t let me sleep.
I am too distressed even to pray!
5 I think of the good old days,
long since ended,
6 when my nights were filled with joyful songs.
I search my soul and ponder the difference now.
7 Has the Lord rejected me forever?
Will he never again be kind to me?
8 Is his unfailing love gone forever?
Have his promises permanently failed?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he slammed the door on his compassion?
10 And I said, “This is my fate;
the Most High has turned his hand against me.”
11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
12 They are constantly in my thoughts.
I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
13 O God, your ways are holy.
Is there any god as mighty as you?
14 You are the God of great wonders!
You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.
15 By your strong arm, you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
16 When the Red Sea saw you, O God,
its waters looked and trembled!
The sea quaked to its very depths.
17 The clouds poured down rain;
the thunder rumbled in the sky.
Your arrows of lightning flashed.
18 Your thunder roared from the whirlwind;
the lightning lit up the world!
The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your road led through the sea,
your pathway through the mighty waters—
a pathway no one knew was there!
20 You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep,
with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.