Matthew Henry's 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77:1-10 Days of trouble must be days of prayer; when God seems to have withdrawn from us, we must seek him till we find him.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.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.
I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.
Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.
I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.
Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?
Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?
Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.
And I said, This is my infirmity: 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 thy wonders of old.
77:11-20 The remembrance of the works of God, will be a powerful remedy against distrust of his promise and goodness; for he is God, and changes not. God's way is in the sanctuary. We are sure that God is holy in all his works. God's ways are like the deep waters, which cannot be fathomed; like the way of a ship, which cannot be tracked. God brought Israel out of Egypt. This was typical of the great redemption to be wrought out in the fulness of time, both by price and power. If we have harboured doubtful thoughts, we should, without delay, turn our minds to meditate on that God, who spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, that with him, he might freely give us all things.
I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.
Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?
Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.
Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.
The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.
The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.
Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.
Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.