Psalm 77:11

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 11. I will remember the works of the Lord. Fly back my soul, away from present turmoil, to the grandeurs of history, the sublime deeds of Jehovah, the Lord of Hosts; for he is the same and is ready even now to defend his servants as in days of yore.

Surely I will remember thy wonders of old. Whatever else may glide into oblivion, the marvellous works of the Lord in the ancient days must not be suffered to be forgotten. Memory is a fit handmaid for faith. When faith has its seven years of famine, memory like Joseph in Egypt opens her granaries.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 11. I will remember, etc. Remember and commemorate, as the Hebrew (by a double reading) imports. John Trapp.

Verse 11. I will remember. Faith is a considering grace: he that believes will not make haste; no, not to think or speak of God. Faith hath a good memory, and can tell the Christian many stories of ancient mercies; and when his present meal falls short, it can entertain the soul with a cold dish, and not complain that God keeps a bad house. Thus David recovered himself, when he was even tumbling down the hill of temptation: This is my infirmity; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember thy wonders of old. Therefore, Christian, when thou art in the depths of affliction, and Satan tempts thee to asperse God, as if he were forgetful of thee, stop his mouth with this: No, Satan, God hath not forgot to do for me, but I have forgot what he hath done for me, or else I could not question his fatherly care at present over me. Go, Christian, play over thy own lessons, praise God for past mercies, and it will not be long before thou hast a new song put into thy mouth for a present mercy...

Sometimes a little writing is found in a man's study that helps to save his estate, for want of which he had gone to prison; and some one experience remembered keeps the soul from despair, a prison which the devil longs to have the Christian in. "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope," Lamentations 3:21 . David was famous for his hope, and not less eminent for his care to observe and preserve the experiences he had of God's goodness. He was able to recount the dealings of God with him; they were so often the subject of his meditation and matter of his discourse, that he had made them familiar to him. When his hope is at a loss, he doth but exercise his memory a little, and he recovers himself presently, and chides himself for his weakness. I said, this is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. The hound, when he hath lost his scent, hunts backwards and so recovers it, and pursues his game with louder cry than ever. Thus, Christian, when thy hope is at a loss, and you question your salvation in another world, then look backward and see what God hath already done for thee. Some promises have their day of payment here, and others we must stay to receive in heaven. Now the payment which God makes of some promises here, is an earnest given to our faith that the others also shall be faithfully discharged when their date expires; as every judgment inflicted here on the wicked is sent as a pledge of that wrath the full sum whereof God will make up in hell. William Gurnall.

Verse 11. The works of the Lord... Thy wonders. The psalmist does not mean to draw a distinction between the works and the wonders of God; but, rather, to state that all God's works are wonders... All, whether in providence or grace -- all God's works are wonderful. If we take the individual experience of the Christian, of what is that experience made up? Of wonders. The work of his conversion, wonderful! -- arrested in a course of thoughtlessness and impiety; graciously sought and gently compelled to be at peace with God, whose wrath he had provoked. The communication of knowledge, wonderful! -- Deity and eternity gradually piled up; the Bible taken page by page, and each page made a volume which no searching can exhaust. The assistance in warfare, wonderful! -- himself a child of corruption, yet enabled to grapple with the world, the flesh, and the devil, and often to trample them under foot. The solaces in affliction, wonderful! -- sorrow sanctified so as to minister to joy, and a harvest of gladness reaped from a field which has been watered with tears. The foretastes of heaven, wonderful! -- angels bringing down the clusters of the land, and the spirit walking with lightsome tread the crystal river and the streets of gold. All wonderful! Wonderful that the Spirit should strive with man; wonderful that God should bear with his backslidings; wonderful that God should love him notwithstanding his pollution; wonderful that God should persist in saving him, in spite, as it were, of himself. Oh! those amongst you who know anything, experimentally, of salvation through Christ, well know that the work is wonderful in its commencement, wonderful in its continuance, and they will need no argument to vindicate the transition from works to wonders. It will be the transition of your own thoughts and your own feelings, and you will never give in the record of God's dealings with yourselves without passing, as the psalmist passed, from mentioning to ascription. Ye may set yourselves to commemorate God's works, ye will find yourselves extolling God's wonders. Ye may begin with saying, I will remember the works of the Lord; but ye will conclude by exclaiming, Surely I will remember thy wonders of old. Henry Melvill.

Verse 11. Thy wonders. The word is in the singular here, and also in Psalms 77:14 . So also in the next verse, Thy work, because the one great wonder, the one great work in which all others were included, is before his thoughts. J. J. Stewart Perowne.

Verse 11. Thy wonders. He had before spoken to others, but here he turns to God. It is good for a soul in a hard exercise, to raise itself from thinking of God and of his works, unto speaking unto God directly: no ease or relief will be found till address be made unto himself, till we turn our face toward him and direct our speech unto him, as here the psalmist doth, from the midst of the eleventh verse to the end of the psalm. David Dickson.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 10-12. Remember, meditate, talk.

Verse 11-12.

  1. Consolation derived from the remembrance of the past.
  2. Consolation increased by meditation.
  3. Consolation strengthened by communication: "and
    talk," etc. G. R.