I cried to God with my voice, even to God with my voice; and he gave ear to me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I cried . . .—Better, following the Hebrew literally,
“My voice to God—and let me cry;
My voice to God—and He hears me.”
The Authorised Version has followed the LXX. and Vulg. in neglecting the striking changes in mood running through this psalm. Soliloquy and narrative alternate as the poet’s mood impels him—now to give vent to his feelings in sobs and cries, now to analyse and describe them.Psalm 77:1. I cried unto God, &c. — This verse seems to contain the sum of the whole Psalm, consisting of two parts, namely, his earnest cry to God in his deep distress, and God’s gracious answer to his prayers, by supporting him under his troubles, and giving him assurance of a good issue out of them; of both which he speaks distinctly and particularly as he proceeds in the Psalm.Psalm 3:4.
Even unto God with my voice - The repetition here is emphatic. The idea is that it was an earnest or fervent cry. Compare the notes at 2 Corinthians 12:8.
Ps 77:1-20. To Jeduthun—(See on Ps 39:1, title). In a time of great affliction, when ready to despair, the Psalmist derives relief from calling to mind God's former and wonderful works of delivering power and grace.
2 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.
3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.
"I cried unto God with my voice." This Psalm has much sadness in it, but we may be sure it will end well, for it begins with prayer, and prayer never has an ill issue. Asaph did not run to man but to the Lord, and to him he went, not with studied, stately, stilted words, but with a cry, the natural, unaffected, unfeigned expression of pain. He used his voice also, for though vocal utterance is not necessary to the life of prayer, it often seems forced upon us by the energy of our desires. Sometimes the soul feels compelled to use the voice, for thus it finds a freer vent for its agony. It is a comfort to hear the alarm-bell ringing when the house is invaded by thieves. "Even unto God with my voice." He returned to his pleading. If once sufficed not, he cried again. He needed an answer, he expected one, he was eager to have it soon, therefore he cried again and again, and with his voice too, for the sound helped his earnestness. "And he gave ear unto me." Importunity prevailed. The gate opened to the steady knock. It shall be so with us in our hour of trial, the God of grace will hear us in due season.
"In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord." All day long his distress drove him to his God, so that when night came he continued still in the same search. God had hidden his face from his servant, therefore the first care of the troubled saint was to seek his Lord again. This was going to the root of the matter and removing the main impediment first. Diseases and tribulations are easily enough endured when God is found of us, but without him they crush us to the earth. "My sore ran in the night, and ceased not." As by day so by night his trouble was on him and his prayer continued. Some of us know what it is, both physically and spiritually, to be compelled to use these words: no respite has been afforded us by the silence of the night, our bed has been a rack to us, our body has been in torment, and our spirit in anguish. It appears that this sentence is wrongly translated, and should be, "my hand was stretched out all night;" this shews that his prayer ceased not, but with uplifted hand he continued to seek succour of his God. "My soul refused to be comforted." He refused some comforts as too weak for his case, others as untrue, others as unhallowed; but chiefly because of distraction, he declined even those grounds of consolation which ought to have been effectual with him. As a sick man turns away even from the most nourishing food, so did he. It is impossible to comfort those who refuse to be comforted. You may bring them to the waters of the promise, but who shall make them drink if they will not do so? Many a daughter of despondency has pushed aside the cup of gladness, and many a son of sorrow has hugged his chains. There are times when we are suspicious of good news, and are not to be persuaded into peace, though the happy truth should be as plain before us as the King's highway.
"I remembered God, and was troubled." He who is the wellspring of delight to faith became an object of dread to the Psalmist's distracted heart. The justice, holiness, power, and truth of God have all a dark side, and indeed all the attributes may be made to look black upon us if our eye be evil; even the brightness of divine love blinds us, and fills us with a horrible suspicion that we have neither part nor lot in it. He is wretched indeed whose memories of The Ever Blessed prove distressing to him; yet the best of men know the depth of this abyss. "I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed." He mused and mused but only sank the deeper. His inward disquietudes did not fall asleep as soon as they were expressed, but rather they returned upon him, and leaped over him like raging billows of an angry sea. It was not his body alone which smarted, but his noblest nature writhed in pain, his life itself seemed crushed into the earth. It is in such a case that death is coveted as a relief, for life becomes an intolerable burden. With no spirit left in us to sustain our infirmity, our case becomes forlorn; like a man in a tangle of briars who is stripped of his clothes, every hook of the thorns becomes a lancet, and we bleed with ten thousand wounds. Alas, my God, the writer of this exposition well knows what thy servant Asaph meant, for his soul is familiar with the way of grief. Deep glens and lonely caves of soul depressions, my spirit knows full well your awful glooms! "Selah." Let the song go softly; this is no merry dance for the swift feet of the daughters of music, pause ye awhile, and let sorrow take breath between her sighs. THE ARGUMENT
even unto God with my voice; or "my voice was unto God"; which is repeated to show that he prayed again and again, with great eagerness and earnestness, his case being a very afflicted one:
and he gave ear unto me; his prayer was not without success; God is a God hearing and answering prayer, according to his promise, Psalm 50:15.<
(a) The prophet teaches us by his example to flee to God for help in our necessities.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1. “Aloud unto God let me cry,
Yea, aloud unto God, and he will give ear to me.”
1–3. The Psalmist relates how, under the pressure of calamity, he could find no consolation even in prayer.Verse 1. - I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice. The repetition marks the intensity of the appeal, "with my voice" - that the appellant is not content with mere silent prayer. And he gave ear unto me; rather, "that he may hearken unto me" (Cheyne), or "and do thou hearken unto me" (Hengstenberg, Kay). Psalm 1:6) draws the same inference from the defeat of Sennacherib as the psalmist does in Psalm 76:8. מאז אפּך (cf. Ruth 2:7; Jeremiah 44:18), from the decisive turning-point onwards, from the אז in Psalm 2:5, when Thine anger breaks forth. God sent forth His judiciary word from heaven into the midst of the din of war of the hostile world: immediately (cf. on the sequence of the tenses Psalm 48:6, and on Habakkuk 3:10) it was silenced, the earth was seized with fear, and its tumult was obliged to cease, when, namely, God arose on behalf of His disquieted, suffering people, when He spoke as we read in Isaiah 33:10, and fulfilled the prayer offered in extreme need in Isaiah 33:2.
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