Today: [Psalm 77] In the Day of Trouble: Cry Out! In this chapter Asaph cries out to God in the day of trouble. He demonstrates that God will hear and respond to the heartfelt cry. Many times we feel as though it is too late. The immediacy of our crisis drains away our faith making us think it is too late to pray. Asaph shows us in this psalm that God will never reject us no matter how late we come into the situation to call out to Him for deliverance.
[Psa 77:1-20 KJV] 1 [[To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of Asaph.]] 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.
Asaph is the author of Psalm 77 – a psalm of lament and a psalm of testimony to answered prayer. Asaph says in verse 1 that the Lord gave ear to his prayer. This is very important. Sometimes we wonder when we pray whether or not God hears or is paying attention to us. Asaph reveals something very simple that will help you in this regard. Note what he says that he did – he cried unto the Lord with his voice. In other words he was not praying in silence. I remember years ago a prophetic word I received that exhorted me to “let your mouth pray…” Prayer that is not verbal is not prayer it is wishful thinking. When God created the earth He didn’t think “let light be…” He didn’t merely think this – He SAID “Let there be light…” God has fashioned the universe to respond to the spoken word therefore it is of utmost important that you pray regularly, out loud with your voice. When you pray with your voice God will give ear to your petition.
Verse 2 tells us when we should pray. In the day of trouble. Sometimes you wonder if there is any other kind of day to have – but when you are in trouble that is the time to pray. Sometimes we get condemned by the enemy as though it is too late to pray – or that we are only praying to get relief from our present difficulty. That isn’t the case. God will never despise the prayer that you pray even in the midst of great difficulty. It is never wrong to turn to God even at the 11th hour of a great trial. Let your mouth pray. Let your voice be heard before God in a time of trouble. Prayer changes things. Prayer moves the mountains and brings answers from God.
Verse 3 says that Asap remembered God. Here is another ploy of the enemy. If you have grown cold in your walk with God and strayed from the path – don’t ever be condemned to remember God and to return to God in prayer. God will not condemn you or rebuke you when you are moving in His direction. Remember the Lord. God is pleased when we come to ourselves and make adjustments to get back into right relationship with Him. There is no penance to pay or religious striving to enter into – simply remember Him, cry out to Him and you will be heard.
In verse 5 Asaph calls to his mind victories of times past. We hear people criticize today for looking back at past outpourings of God or revivals in decades gone by. It is never wrong to remember the ancient landmarks. Call to mind when you are under assault what God has done in the past. God is no respecter of persons but He is a respecter of faith. If you will do with your faith what others have done with their faith you will see the same results.
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.
Asaph also shook himself out of depression in his day of trouble. He called to remembrance songs in the night. We tend to seek out the newest cutting edge worship. There is value in remembering the songs and hymns that have blessed us in the past. Remember those songs and sing those songs. That is what David did when he encouraged himself in the Lord. Asaph remembered the songs of old. He communed with his own heart. That means he talked to himself. He encouraged his own spirit. He didn’t wait for someone else to do it. The person you are waiting to encourage you may need encouragement of their own. Asap is struggling with unanswered prayer and the contradiction in his life to God’s promises but his defense is to remember the works of old and the testimonies of old time. What God did in the past He will do again because He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
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.
When Asaph speaks of meditating we have to think about what that means. The word meditate means “to mutter”. When the Lord spoke to Joshua this is what they told him:
[Jos 1:8 KJV] 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
The word meditate there and in Psalm 77 means “to mutter”. Every one mutters about something and usually that is negative. When we lower our voice and mutter we usually are complaining about something we don’t like. God made you to mutter. The question is WHAT are you going to mutter? Are you going to mutter God’s word as the Lord commanded Joshua? Or are you going to mutter what the devil says. When things are going bad why don’t you mutter this:
“I am the righteousness of God and no evil befalls me for I overcome evil with good….”
Learn to mutter – to meditate the biblical way. When you exercise biblical habits you get biblical results.
In verse 13 we find another deep truth. Asap says that God’s way is in the sancturary. The sanctuary is in the temple. Where is the temple? For us it is not a building or an edifice made by man. We are the temple. Paul said this to the Corinthians:
[1Co 6:19 KJV] 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Jesus said in John 14 that He is the way, the truth and the life. Where is the WAY that He is? It is according to Asaph – in the sanctuary or the temple that you are. We are not waiting for God to make a way for us. Jesus is our way and He is in us. No one can impede us for Jesus is our way. There is no roadblock that life can put in front of Jesus enthroned on your heart. If you have Jesus you have a way and you know the way and you are walking in the way because He is in you as the way, the truth and the life!
Verse 14 speaks of the declaration of God’s strength. Where does the verse say that God declares His strength? God declares His strength among the people. In other words God is not on a throne somewhere or a planet called heaven flexing His muscles. If God is going to show off His muscles He does so in our midst. The strength of God is among us, in us and working in our behalf. God’s strength is found among the people. The enemy’s ploy is always to isolate you. If he can isolate you he can weaken you because he knows God’s strength is among God’s people. Never let the enemy isolate you from fellowship or relationship with other believers.
Verse 17 speaks of God’s waters being poured out through the clouds. You and I are those clouds. We are the clouds that receive Him and the clouds that witness His mighty works in the earth. When the clouds pour forth water they pour forth the word. You don’t always hear the word in many churches today. We hear many things but often the word isn’t one of them. We teach for 90 minutes and maybe read 1 verse. Let’s get back to the word and become a people of the word. Word people achieve and experience word results.
Finally in verse 20 we see God leading his people through Moses and Aaron. Notice that is a plurality of leadership. Aaron was equivalent to our understanding of pastor. Moses was a prophet. God wants the pastors and the prophets to work together. One man cannot do it all. One man or one ministry has no authority to deny the people the other offices of the 5-fold ministry. Find your Aaron and your Moses. Open yourself up to the whole counsel of God and the full guidance of God through both the pastor and the prophet.
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