To the choirmaster leader, according to Jeduthun, a psalm of Asaph
“I cry aloud to God!
I cry aloud to God!
Thus he may hear me!
In the day of my trouble
I seek Yahweh!
In the night
My hand is stretched out without wearying.
My soul refuses to be comforted.
I think of God!
My spirit faints!”
Psalm 77 is another in the choral psalms of Asaph, the Temple singer. This time it is according to Jeduthun, the name of one of the Levite Merari families that David appointed as music master in 1 Chronicles, chapters 16 and 25. Jeduthun was a trumpet player. His sons led the music in the Temple. His name appears here and in Psalms 39 and 62. Once again this is a lamentation about how bad things are. Asaph or this psalmist is seeking Yahweh with a personal cry to God. He cried out aloud so that God could hear him. When he was in trouble he always sought Yahweh. He spent his nights with outstretched arms in prayer. He refused to be comforted. He was thinking of God. He moaned and meditated as his spirit became faint. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.
To the choirmaster leader, according to Jeduthun, a psalm of David
“For God alone
My soul waits in silence.
Comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock.
He alone is my salvation.
He alone is my fortress.
I shall never be shaken.”
Psalm 62 is another choral psalm of David. However the melody is to Jeduthun, who was mentioned in Psalm 39 and 77. Jeduthun was the name of one of the Levite Merari families that David appointed as music master in 1 Chronicles, chapters 16 and 25. He was a trumpet player and his sons led the music in the Temple. David placed all his trust in God alone. He waited in silence. He knew that God was his salvation, his rock, and his fortress. He would not be shaken in his ways.
“Hear my prayer!
Give ear to my cry!
Do not hold your peace at my tears!
I am your passing guest
Like all my forbearers.
Turn your gaze away from me!
Then I can smile again
Before I depart.
Then I am no more!”
The psalmist concluded this psalm by once again asking Yahweh to hear his prayer. He wanted the ear of Yahweh to hear his crying. On this earth, he was nothing but an alien, a passing guest, just like his forefathers. He wanted Yahweh to turn his gaze away so that he could smile again before he departed into nothingness since he would be no more.
“You chastise mortals
In punishment for sin.
You consume like a moth
What is dear to him.
Surely everyone is a mere breath.”
God chastises mortals for their sins. In other words, what happens to you is deserved because you have sinned. God is like a moth that consumes anything that gets close to him. In reality, everyone is really like a mere breath of God, not more significant than that. This section ends with a musical pause, a Selah.
“Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil.
They heap up.
They do not know who will gather!
What do I wait for?
My hope is in you!
Deliver me from all my transgressions!
Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
I am silent.
I do not open my mouth.
It is you who have done it.
Remove your stroke from me.
I am worn down
By the blows of your hand.”
Everyone is like a shadow since they are in turmoil. They are confused. However, the psalmist is not confused because he is waiting on Yahweh. His hope is in Yahweh. He wants God to forgive his transgressions since he did not want to be the scorn of the fools. This psalmist felt that God had hit him pretty hard with his hands but he had remained silent.
“To the choirmaster leader, Jeduthun, a psalm of David
‘I will guard my ways.
So that I may not sin with my tongue.
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth,
As long as the wicked are in my presence.’
I was silent and still.
I held my peace to no avail.
My distress grew worse.
My heart became hot within me.
When I mused,
The fire burned.
Then I spoke with my tongue.
Let me know my end.
What is the measure of my days?
Let me know how fleeting my life is!
You have made my days a few handbreadths.
My lifetime is as nothing in your sight.
Surely every man stands as a mere breath!”
Once again, Psalm 39 is a prayer for healing. Jeduthun was the name of one of the Levite Merari families that David appointed as music master in 1 Chronicles, chapters 16 and 25. He was a trumpet player and his sons led the music in the Temple. His name appears here and in Psalms 62 and 77. David or Jeduthun were guarding their ways. They did not want their tongue to sin so they kept a muzzle on their mouths, like vicious dogs today. One of the problems is that this psalmist did not speak out when he was in trouble. His heart burned within him. What he really wanted to know was how long his life would be. When would his days be over? He knew that his lifetime was like a breath in the life time of Yahweh. This section ends with a musical pause, a Selah.