“When the waters saw you!
When the waters saw you,
They were afraid.
The very deep trembled.
The clouds poured out water.
The skies thundered.
Your arrows flashed on every side.
The crash of your thunder
Was in the whirlwind.
Your lightnings lit up the world.
The earth trembled.
The earth shook.
Your way was through the sea.
Your path was through the mighty waters.
Your footprints were unseen.
You led your people like a flock
By the hand of Moses and Aaron.”
This psalm ends with a remembrance of the power and presence of Yahweh when he was with Moses and Aaron. He recalled the power of God in the storms. He remembered how Yahweh had helped his people get out of Egypt. These themes were captured in this ancient hymn to God. The waters were afraid of God, as if the waters had feelings of trembling before God. The lightnings in the sky were the arrows of Yahweh. The thunder was his voice. The earth trembled, much like the waters. The earth shook. However, he led his people by way of the great sea so that they were no footprints left behind. He led his people like a flock of sheep through the hands of Moses and Aaron. Notice that Aaron is considered the equivalent to Moses here.
‘It is my grief
That the right hand of the Most High has changed.’
I will call to mind the deeds of Yahweh.
I will remember your wonders of old.
I will meditate on all your work.
I will muse on your mighty deeds.
Your way is holy!
What god is as great as our God?
You are the God who works wonders.
You have displayed your might among the peoples.
With your strong arm
You redeemed your people,
The descendents of Jacob and Joseph.”
Asaph, the psalmist, admitted that he was full of grief. He felt that God had changed his right hand over him. Thus he recalled the great works of God that he had performed for him in the good old days. He meditated on his great deeds. There was no other god like his God, who worked wonders. He had redeemed his people with a strong arm. His people were the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Notice the mention of Joseph, which is rare. This section ends with the meditative musical interlude pause of Selah.
“You keep my eyelids from closing.
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old.
I remember the years long ago.
I commune with my heart in the night.
I meditate and search my spirit.
‘Will Yahweh spurn me forever?
Will Yahweh never again be favorable?
Has his steadfast love ceased forever?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?’”
Asaph or this psalmist suffers from mental anguish. He feels that God has forgotten him. He could not close his eyes. He was troubled as he remembered the good old days. He was self reflective, searching his heart. He could hardly speak. He had a series of questions about God. Was he spurned forever? Would Yahweh never be favorable to him again? Had God forgotten his promises? Had God forgotten his steadfast love and graciousness to him? Was God so angry that he could not be compassionate? This is a questioning troubled person. This meditative section ends with the musical interlude pause of Selah.
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.