It’s advisable, I think, to have a final Lesson concerning Psalm 77. It’s a masterpiece of theology, poetry too, and a testimony par excellence!
I just studied where a Bible teacher divided the Psalm by it’s little “Selah” words! It has three of these, each at the end of certain verses. Let me show you.
“I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. 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. 4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. 6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. 7 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? 8 Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? 9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. 10 And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. 11 I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. 12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. 13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? 14 Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. 15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. 16 The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled. 17 The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad. 18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. 19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. 20 Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”
Asaph is pleading with God until the first “Selah,” in verses 1-3. By the way, “Selah” for now can be defined as “a musical term, inserted into poetry to say … ‘pause and think’ … reflect on the message just presented.” The Psalmist here (in his first “stanza”) is miserable.
Then from the first Selah to the second, he reasons with himself. Divinely approved thinking, a mind at work, one that believes in God. This is Asaph’s chief value to the Christian … we get to see his way of reasoning through tough situations, always gaining victory through faith.
Then between the second and third Selahs the man focuses much more on God. Less of self, more of the Creator/Redeemer! One Preacher used to call this “Occupation with Christ.”
With the last few verses, after the final Selah, beautifully magnifying God’s Power! “God’s Way in the storm!” No doubt Asaph is thinking historically, of the Exodus and subsequent Wilderness Journey of Israel, from Egypt to Canaan!
I have been intrigued by Asaph the Psalm writer during these Lessons, over these past three weeks. He is thought to have composed 12 of the Psalms. I think they are labeled as “Asaphian.” And they are Psalm 50, then consecutively Psalms 73 through 83, again a total of twelve. Some are shorter, others longer. For example, Psalm 82 only contains 8 verses. While Psalm 78 has a startling 72 verses!
I now plan, the Lord willing, to somewhere preach a whole week of Revival using only the “Asaph Corpus” of Scripture! I am excited just thinking about it.
I pray you “students” (other websites say “readers”) have enjoyed our journey through Psalm 77. I know the “teacher” (“writer”) certainly has!
I am so thankful my Lord is my Shepherd too!
Appropriately I’ll close with Psalm 77’s ultimate verse: “Thou (Lord) leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”
Like a flock!
The Lord being the Leader!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell