Psalm 77:6
I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.
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(6) I call to remembrance.—Better,

“Let me recall my harpings in the night;

Let me complain in my own heart,

And my spirit questions and questions.”

77:1-10 Days of trouble must be days of prayer; when God seems to have withdrawn from us, we must seek him till we find him.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.I call to remembrance my song in the night - Compare Job 35:10, note; Psalm 42:8, note. The word here rendered "song" - נגינה negı̂ynâh - means properly the music of stringed instruments, Lamentations 5:14; Isaiah 38:20; then, a stringed instrument. It is the word which we have so often in the titles to the psalms (Psalm 4:1-8; Psalm 6:1-10; Psalm 54:1-7; Psalm 55; Psalm 67:1-7; Psalm 76:1-12); and it is used here in the sense of song or psalm. The idea is, that there had been times in his life when, even in darkness and sorrow, he could sing; when he could find things for which to praise God; when he could find something that would cheer him; when he could take some bright views of God adapted to calm down his feelings, and to give peace to his soul. He recalls those times and scenes to his remembrance, with a desire to have those cheerful impressions renewed; and he asks himself what it was which then comforted and sustained him. He endeavors to bring those things back again, for if he found comfort then, he thinks that he might find comfort from the same considerations now.

I commune with mine own heart - I think over the matter. See the notes at Psalm 4:4.

And my spirit made diligent search - In reference

(a) to the grounds of my former support and comfort; and

(b) in reference to the whole matter as it lies before me now.

4. holdest … waking—or, "fast," that I cannot sleep. Thus he is led to express his anxious feelings in several earnest questions indicative of impatient sorrow. I call to remembrance my song in the night, the many and great mercies and favours of God vouchsafed by him to me, and to his people, which have obliged me to adore him, and sing his praises not only in the day, the time appointed for that work. but also by night, as oft as they come into my mind.

My spirit made diligent search, what should be the cause of this strange and vast alteration, and how these sore calamities could come from the hand of so gracious and merciful a God as ours is, and what might be expected as to their continuance or removal.

I call to remembrance my song in the night,.... What had been an occasion of praising the Lord with a song, and which he had sung in the night seasons, when he was at leisure, his thoughts free, and he retired from company; or it now being night with him, he endeavoured to recollect what had been matter of praise and thankfulness to him, and tried to sing one of those songs now, in order to remove his melancholy thoughts and fears, but all to no purpose:

I commune with mine own heart; or "meditate" (o) with it; looked into his own heart, put questions to it, and conversed with himself, in order to find out the reason of the present dispensation:

and my spirit made diligent search; into the causes of his troubles, and ways and means of deliverance out of them, and what would be the issue and consequence of them; the result of all which was as follows.

(o) "meditabor", Montanus; meditatus sum, V. L. "meditor", Junius & Tremellius; "meditabar", Piscator, Cocceius.

I call to remembrance my {d} song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made {e} diligent search.

(d) Of thanksgiving, which I was accustomed to sing in my prosperity.

(e) Both the reasons why I was chastened, and when my sorrows would end.

6. “Let me remember my song in the night:

Let me muse in my heart;”

And my spirit inquired, (saying),

6. In the first two lines he tells us how he bade himself recall the songs of thanksgiving which he had once been able to sing in the night, the quiet time of meditation and thanksgiving (Psalm 42:8; Psalm 92:2; Job 35:10), in contrast to his present cries of anguish or silence of despair.

Song means literally ‘song to the accompaniment of stringed instruments.’ P.B.V. ‘and search out my spirits,’ follows the reading of the LXX and some other Ancient Versions.

Verse 6. - I call to remembrance my song in the night. He bethought himself of the songs of thanksgiving which he used to sing to God in the night (comp. Job 35:10) on account of mercies received; but this did not comfort him. "Nessun maggior dolore che ricordarsi di tempo felice nella miseria." I commune with mine own heart, and my spirit made diligent search; or, "and I diligently searched out my spirit" (Cheyne). The results of the searchings out seem to be given in vers. 7-10. Psalm 77:6He calls his eyelids the "guards of my eyes." He who holds these so that they remain open when they want to shut together for sleep, is God; for his looking up to Him keeps the poet awake in spite of all overstraining of his powers. Hupfeld and others render thus: "Thou hast held, i.e., caused to last, the night-watches of mine eyes," - which is affected in thought and expression. The preterites state what has been hitherto and has not yet come to a close. He still endures, as formerly, such thumps and blows within him, as though he lay upon an anvil (פּעם), and his voice fails him. Then silent soliloquy takes the place of audible prayer; he throws himself back in thought to the days of old (Psalm 143:5), the years of past periods (Isaiah 51:9), which were so rich in the proofs of the power and loving-kindness of the God who was then manifest, but is now hidden. He remembers the happier past of his people and his own, inasmuch as he now in the night purposely calls back to himself in his mind the time when joyful thankfulness impelled him to the song of praise accompanied by the music of the harp (בּלּילה belongs according to the accents to the verb, not to נגינתי, although that construction certainly is strongly commended by parallel passages like Psalm 16:7; Psalm 42:9; Psalm 92:3, cf. Job 35:10), in place of which, crying and sighing and gloomy silence have now entered. He gives himself up to musing "with his heart," i.e., in the retirement of his inmost nature, inasmuch as he allows his thoughts incessantly to hover to and fro between the present and the former days, and in consequence of this (fut. consec. as in Psalm 42:6) his spirit betakes itself to scrupulizing (what the lxx reproduces with σκάλλειν, Aquila with σκαλεύειν) - his conflict of temptation grows fiercer. Now follow the two doubting questions of the tempted one: he asks in different applications, Psalm 77:8-10 (cf. Psalm 85:6), whether it is then all at an end with God's loving-kindness and promise, at the same time saying to himself, that this nevertheless is at variance with the unchangeableness of His nature (Malachi 3:6) and the inviolability of His covenant. אפס (only occurring as a 3. praet.) alternates with גּמר (Psalm 12:2). חנּות is an infinitive construct formed after the manner of the Lamed He verbs, which, however, does also occur as infinitive absolute (שׁמּות, Ezekiel 36:3, cf. on Psalm 17:3); Gesenius and Olshausen (who doubts this infinitive form, 245, f) explain it, as do Aben-Ezra and Kimchi, as the plural of a substantive חנּה, but in the passage cited from Ezekiel (vid., Hitzig) such a substantival plural is syntactically impossible. קפץ רחמים is to draw together or contract and draw back one's compassion, so that it does not manifest itself outwardly, just as he who will not give shuts (יקפּץ) his hand (Deuteronomy 15:7; cf. supra, Psalm 17:10).
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