Listen to Asaph, the writer of Psalm 77. In a moment of “introspection!” He shares: “I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.” Psalm 77:6
What’s his purpose?
In such musings?
Maybe the next verse will help reveal the context. “Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?”
Three verbs appear above, in today’s verse. “I CALL TO REMEMBRANCE my song in the night: I COMMUNE with mine own heart: and my spirit MADE DILIGENT SEARCH.”
I have capitalized them. Remember they are Hebrew verbs, not strictly English.
We are here being taught how to self-inspect, spiritually.
One, he thought upon past blessings. “I call to remembrance my song in the night.” The “good” times of his life.” Job uses this expression too. “Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night.? Job 35:10, “songs” again suggesting periods of joy.
This reminds me of the hymn, “Count your Blessings, name them one by one! Count your many blessings … see what God has done!”
Two, he “communes” with himself, Asaph does. Wondering “why” God has seemed to “forsake” him. “Why” so many problems have beset him. “I commune with mine own heart.”
The verb used here for “commune” is “siyach,” meaning “to meditate.” But in this sense, “to talk, speak, muse, declare,” here to oneself. He’s asking, “What might have I done WRONG? Have I sinned? Or is God perhaps “testing” me? To make me stronger? To “prove” my faith?
Paul, in like manner, wrote the Corinthians. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” Found in 2nd Corinthians 13:5, a pretty strong verse!
Third, get your “spirit” involved! That part of you that has been born-again! That part of creation placed deep inside you that has God-consciousness. “My spirit made diligent search.”
This verb, “chaphas,” is relatively rare, used only 23 times in Scripture. “To find something hidden!” To “disguise” oneself and investigate a matter! And here in verse 7 the verb is a “Piel” stem construction, intensively searching! Vigorously! Looking for anything that might displease Almighty God!
This is parallel to the last paragraph of Psalm 139. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24
Paul once wrote … “If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” Not be judged by the Lord! 1st Corinthians 11:31
Sounds like the Psalmist, Asaph, agrees!
We should too.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell