|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
77:1-10 Days of trouble must be days of prayer; when God seems to have withdrawn from us, we must seek him till we find him. In the day of his trouble the psalmist did not seek for the diversion of business or amusement, but he sought God, and his favor and grace. Those that are under trouble of mind, must pray it away. He pored upon the trouble; the methods that should have relieved him did but increase his grief. When he remembered God, it was only the Divine justice and wrath. His spirit was overwhelmed, and sank under the load. But let not the remembrance of the comforts we have lost, make us unthankful for those that are left. Particularly he called to remembrance the comforts with which he supported himself in former sorrows. Here is the language of a sorrowful, deserted soul, walking in darkness; a common case even among those that fear the Lord, Isa 50:10. Nothing wounds and pierces like the thought of God's being angry. God's own people, in a cloudy and dark day, may be tempted to make wrong conclusions about their spiritual state, and that of God's kingdom in the world. But we must not give way to such fears. Let faith answer them from the Scripture. The troubled fountain will work itself clear again; and the recollection of former times of joyful experience often raises a hope, tending to relief. Doubts and fears proceed from the want and weakness of faith. Despondency and distrust under affliction, are too often the infirmities of believers, and, as such, are to be thought upon by us with sorrow and shame. When, unbelief is working in us, we must thus suppress its risings.
Verse 5. - I have considered; rather, I considered. In my perplexity, when I could no longer speak, I betook myself to meditation. I considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. He called to mind, i.e., God's doings in the past (comp. vers. 14-19).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I have considered the days of old,.... Either the former part of his life, the various occurrences of it, how it had been with him in time past, what experience he had had of the divine goodness; so the Syriac version renders it, "I have considered my days of old"; or the preceding age, and what has happened in that, which his ancestors had acquainted him with; or rather many ages past, from the days of Adam to the then present time; at least it may include the Israelites coming out of Egypt, their passage through the Red sea and wilderness, the times of the judges, and what befell them in their days, and how they were delivered out of their troubles; as appears from the latter part of the psalm, and with which agrees the following clause:
the years of ancient times; or, "of ages" (n); of times long ago past; it is very useful to read the history of the Bible, with respect to ancient times, and so the ecclesiastical history of ages past, and observe the faith and dependence of the Lord's people upon him, and their deliverance out of trouble by him; which may be a means of strengthening faith in him, and of relief under present trials; but frequently the goodness of former times is only observed as an aggravation of the badness of the present ones, and of trouble in them; see Ecclesiastes 7:10, the Targum interprets the whole of happy days and times, paraphrasing it thus,
"I have mentioned the good days which were of old, the good years which were of ages past.''
(n) "annos seculorum", Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Piscator, Cocceius, Gejerus.
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