In day to day life, we are hit with good days. Bills are paid on time. Debt has been reduced. Jobs are good. Life does have a way of turning for the worse. Someone that we love had been diagnosed with cancer. A friend had died unexpectedly. Suddenly, life had turned most unpleasant. The night season had begun and we become desperate for a brighter tomorrow.
Psalms 77 and 78 are called “Psalms of Asaph.” Asaph was a close friend to King David and probably had witnessed the anxieties and dangers that David had faced while hiding from a jealous King Saul. Asaph, who was a musician in David’s court, also felt anxiety for his own reasons. These psalms were written to give hope for him, and also for us today to know how to remember God’s goodness during our own times of anxiety.
Beginning in verse one, he writes, “I cried out to God with my voice – to God with my voice; and He gave ear to me.” Asaph directed his prayers to God. He cried. He cried out meaning Asaph was very loud with his praying. Being human, Asaph evidently had such a trial that his own soul felt wounded to the point that crying out loud was all that he could do in his prayers. Notice the phrase, “and he gave ear to me.” God was listening to Asaph because Asaph was his creation. God was concerned about the situation as much as Asaph. Remember the scripture from Hebrews 4:15, “God is touched with our infirmities.” God has always been compassionate toward our weaknesses.
In verse 3 of Psalm 77, Asaph wrote, “I remembered God…” What did Asaph remember? A reading of verses 10-20, Asaph reminded himself of the great and mighty deeds that God had done in the past. He wrote in verse 11, “I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work.” Asaph called to his memory the miracles that God had performed for his nation. He remembered that God was a great God and no other earthly god could be compared with the great God Almighty.
Then, Asaph meditated. In the old Hebrew dictionary, the word “meditate” means to “mutter to one’s self, to chew on a thought over and over.” Asaph meditated on how God delivered the Hebrews out from slavery in Egypt. God parted the Red Sea and redeemed them from bondage. Asaph continued his meditation in Psalm 78 beginning with verse 12, “Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers…He divided the sea and caused them to pass through; And He made the waters stand up like a heap.” Throughout Psalm 78, Asaph remembered and meditated on the deeds of God.
Throughout those two psalms, Asaph remembered the faithfulness of God. God remembered His covenant with Abraham and his descendants even though His people failed to remember God. In Psalm 77:7-9, Asaph wrote, “Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more?” Has His mercy ceased forever?” The answer is NO.
Many times in scripture, Biblical characters cried out to God in prayer and God answered. In Jeremiah 33:11, the prophet Jeremiah described God as being merciful. “Praise the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good, for His mercy endures forever.” Jeremiah 33:3 added, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah called God good, merciful and compassionate.
When we pray and sometimes pray to the point that all we can do is cry out from the depth of our souls, cry out to God. Meditate on what God has done for us in the past. Remember how He cared for us, gave us healing, victories from battles, and answers to our prayers. In our own distresses, we can remember God, a mighty and merciful God.
Rev. Kitty Mears serves at Mt. View Pentecostal Holiness Church where she is an assistant adult teacher.