Summary: Psalm 77 opened with a cry of doubt and despair. Here is a man who had almost lost his faith because of the thought that God had changed his mind, that God is capricious and cannot be trusted. But he is with us and makes the ways.
Theme: Ways through Seas
Text: Psalm 77:16-20
Psalm 77 provides a lot of hope and encouragement amongst cries. It is called a lament psalm. According to Willem VanGemeren (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin & Professor of Old Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), the Chief Musician refers to the LORD God Himself, also the temple choir leader (1 Chronicle 6:33, 16:5-7, and 25:6). The notation of ‘Chief Musician’ appears in fifty-five Psalms and Habakkuk 3:19 (ref:enduringword.com). This Psalm 77 refers to Joseph, which is one of the features of Asaph (Ellicott).
Psalm 77 opened with a cry of doubt and despair. Here is a man who had almost lost his faith because of the thought that God had changed his mind, that God is capricious and cannot be trusted. However, the closeness and intimacy we experience with God are expressive. I like to deal with the second portion of Psalm 77:16 to 20.
Let us meditate from three aspects of this passage under the theme ‘Ways through the Seas’.
· Creations participate in the redemption
· God Creates ways through Seas
· God Provides leaders
1. Creations participate in redemption (Psalm 77:16-18)
The Psalmist Asaph has understood the living aspect of the waters, thunder, clouds, skies, and the earth. He narrates the compliance of the creations. He says that the waters saw you, O Lord (Psalm 77:16). Psalmist Asaph does two things, he expresses himself honestly and exactly how he felt before God during the crises, pressures, and tensions, and we too felt on many occasions. Secondly, he lashes himself to what is true even if he cannot see it (ref:dashhouse.com).
The poet describes how all the powers of nature became obedient servants of the majestic revelation of Yahweh when God executed judgment on Pharaoh and Egypt while he delivered Israel (Keil and Delitzsch). We never read about a storm occurring in the book of Exodus, as mentioned in Psalm 77:16. But the Historian Josephus has preserved the tradition (Antiquities 2:16.3, ref: Ellicott comments) while he talked about the Red sea incident.
"The clouds poured out water." It is obedience to the Lord, the lower region of the atmosphere has yielded itself to overthrow the Egyptian host. The cloudy chariots of heaven hurried forward to discharge their floods. "The skies sent out a sound" refers to the loftier aerial regions thunder the dreadful artillery of the Lord of Hosts (Treasury of David). Thundering, lightning, and rain come on the orders of God. According to Mathew Poole: Hail-stones, flashes of lightning, thunderbolts are called God’s arrows (Psalm 18:14, 144:6).
We have numerous incidents in Old Testament and New Testament to attest to this concept. The miracle of water turned into wine reminds us that there was a silent conversation between Jesus and the Water (John 2:1-12). He told the servants to fill the jars with water, and he changed the sheer water into more tasty wine to serve at the wedding. Elijah commanded the heavens not to rain, and he ordered the clouds to appear again and rain (1 Kings 17:1, 18:41-45, James 5:18-19).
The story of Jonah is yet another example of nature obeying the Lord, Beginning with a great wind, the great fish (Jonah 1:4, 17; 2:10). God created a vine and made it grow quicker than its growth. He sent a worm, and it ate up the vine (Jonah 4:6,7) to teach Jonah on the obedience. God listens to the cries of the creations.
God shut the mouths of Lions, in the den when Daniel was thrown into it (Daniel 6:22). God made the Sun stand still during Joshua, and he made the Sun go back for the sake of Hezekiah to believe in His promise. God orders the creations to comply with him to help his children. If we are in need, God would command creatures to be in aid of you and me.
2. God Creates ways through Seas (Psalm 77:19)
Please recall the meditations we had on the voyage of Paul to Rome. The Problems he faced due to Storm and the tempest (Acts 27). Sailing on a Shipboard is always very challenging. Sailors talk about nautical miles, rough weather, High tide and low tide, conducive to sail or not according to the wind speed. My experience with the sailings. Onboard you will be permitted to move around and enjoy the voyage. The ways of the Ship will quickly disappear on the oceans and seas.
Psalmist Asaph does two things that help. First: he expresses himself honestly and exactly how he felt before God, and we too can. Secondly, he lashes himself to what is true even if he cannot see it (ref:dashhouse.com). The psalmist was thinking and meditating on the actions of God in history. God in human events. The actions of God are hard to understand within terms of human understanding. First, he saw that these were supernatural actions. Secondly, they have a specific purpose known as redemptive actions (Ref:raystedman.org).