Ps 77:1-20. To Jeduthun--(See on Ps 39:1, title). In a time of great affliction, when ready to despair, the Psalmist derives relief from calling to mind God's former and wonderful works of delivering power and grace.
1. expresses the purport of the Psalm.
2. his importunacy. my sore ran . . . night--literally, "my hand was spread," or, "stretched out" (compare Ps 44:20). ceased not--literally, "grew not numb," or, "feeble" (Ge 45:26 Ps 38:8). my soul . . . comforted--(compare Ge 37:35 Jer 31:15). 3-9. His sad state contrasted with former joys. was troubled--literally, "violently agitated," or disquieted (Ps 39:6 41:5). my spirit was overwhelmed--or, "fainted" (Ps 107:5 Jon 2:7). 4. holdest . . . waking--or, "fast," that I cannot sleep. Thus he is led to express his anxious feelings in several earnest questions indicative of impatient sorrow. 10. Omitting the supplied words, we may read, "This is my affliction--the years of," &c., "years" being taken as parallel to affliction (compare Ps 90:15), as of God's ordering.
11, 12. He finds relief in contrasting God's former deliverances. Shall we receive good at His hands, and not evil? Both are orderings of unerring mercy and unfailing love.
13. Thy way . . . in the sanctuary--God's ways of grace and providence (Ps 22:3 67:2), ordered on holy principles, as developed in His worship; or implied in His perfections, if "holiness" be used for "sanctuary," as some prefer translating (compare Ex 15:11). 14-20. Illustrations of God's power in His special interventions for His people (Ex 14:1-31), and, in the more common, but sublime, control of nature (Ps 22:11-14 Hab 3:14) which may have attended those miraculous events (Ex 14:24). 15. Jacob and Joseph--representing all. 19. waters . . . , footsteps--may refer to His actual leading the people through the sea, though also expressing the mysteries of providence.