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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
Psalms 77

 

 

Verses 1-3

Some unspecified distress resulted in the psalmist"s insomnia. In his restless condition he cried out to God, but he received no relief (cf. Hebrews 5:7).


Verses 1-9

1. Asaph"s problem77:1-9


Verses 1-20

Psalm 77

Asaph described himself as tossing and turning on his bed, unable to sleep, in this individual lament psalm. He found that meditating on God"s deliverance of His people in the Exodus brought him comfort. This led him to ask God to manifest His power for His people again.


Verses 4-6

On other similar occasions Asaph said he received peace by meditating on God. However, in this one, that activity brought him no rest or joy. God was keeping him awake, but he found no satisfaction in praising God.


Verses 7-9

He wondered if God had abandoned him. He also questioned God"s loyal love, six times. Evidently Asaph was awake because of a major problem he faced. In the darkness of night he could see no hope.

"This is a clear example of the value of confessing one"s doubts to God. As the broad misgivings of Psalm 77:7 are spelt out more precisely in Psalm 77:8 f. their inner contradictions come to light, and with them the possibility of an answer." [Note: Kidner, Psalm 73-150 , p278.]


Verses 10-15

Psalm 77:10 means the psalmist felt his sorrow stemmed from God withdrawing His powerful right hand from his life. In other words, God was not answering his prayers and coming to his aid as He had done in the past.

This remembrance led Asaph to concentrate on God"s great acts for His people in the past.

"The remembrance of the age-old acts of God is the basis for faith." [Note: VanGemeren, p502.]

God"s way is holy ( Psalm 77:13) in that it is different from the ways of men; it is perfectly correct. Yahweh is unique among the Song of Solomon -called gods of the nations. He had done mighty deeds and performed great miracles for Israel in the past. The greatest example of this is the Exodus , when the Lord redeemed the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Perhaps the writer described the Israelites this way to draw attention to their unworthiness.


Verses 10-20

2. Asaph"s solution77:10-20


Verses 16-18

These verses evidently describe the phenomena that accompanied the Exodus.


Verse 19-20

God used Moses and Aaron as shepherds to lead His people through the Red Sea to safety and liberty. However, it was God Himself who provided the deliverance.

Even though he felt distressed, the psalmist found comfort and encouragement during his sleepless nights by remembering God"s powerful redemption of His people. This remembrance doubtless gave him hope for the future. God would again redeem His people from their enemies.

 


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Bibliography Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 77:4". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/psalms-77.html. 2012.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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