Psalms 77:1-20 . 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 Psalms 44:20 ).
ceased not--literally, "grew not numb," or, "feeble" ( Genesis 45:26 , Psalms 38:8 ).
my soul . . . comforted--(compare Genesis 37:35 , Jeremiah 31:15 ).
3-9. His sad state contrasted with former joys.
was troubled--literally, "violently agitated," or disquieted ( Psalms 39:6 , 41:5 ).
my spirit was overwhelmed--or, "fainted" ( Psalms 107:5 , Jonah 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 Psalms 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 ( Psalms 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 Exodus 15:11 ).
14-20. Illustrations of God's power in His special interventions for His people ( Exodus 14:1-31 ), and, in the more common, but sublime, control of nature ( Psalms 22:11-14 , Habakkuk 3:14 ) which may have attended those miraculous events ( Exodus 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.