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Devotional

Psalm 77

What God has Done, He Will Do Again

In Psalm 77, we see we can always remember that God’s love is measured by Jesus’ cross, and his power is measured by his resurrection.

What’s Happening?

The psalmist cries out to God for help (Psalm 77:1). But no matter how long he prays into the night he doesn’t feel any better (Psalm 77:2). He remembers how God saved Israel in her ancient past (Psalm 77:3-5). But none of that happens anymore. Awake in the dark, the psalmist is haunted by the thought that God has abandoned him (Psalm 77:6-7). The longer he waits for God's rescue, the more he’s tempted to wonder if God will ever show up. Maybe God has forgotten his former love, mercy, and compassion (Psalm 77:8-9). Maybe God is angry with him. Maybe God has chosen to break all the promises he’s ever made.

But then the psalmist remembers how God saved Israel from Egypt (Psalm 77:11, 15). God performed miracles after 400 years of silence (Psalm 77:13-14). He brought God’s people out of slavery with signs and plagues (Psalm 77:15). When Pharaoh unleashed his army to fight against God’s rescue, God rose up like an all-powerful shepherd. He led his flock, split a sea, and created dry ground out of ocean floors (Psalm 77:16-20). 

The psalmist realizes that what God has done, he will do again. By retracing the acts of God in history, the psalmist reminds himself that even though his situation seems difficult, his God never leaves his people without guidance and protection (Psalm 77:13).

Where’s the Gospel? 

The psalmist wondered if God's promises had failed (Psalm 77:8). His current experience didn’t match what he’d heard God had done for others. But the psalmist chose not to let God’s silence be his final word to him. Instead, the psalmist remembered what God did in the past as the best indication of God’s plans for his future.

When Jesus was dying on the cross, he quoted from a psalm similar to this one and asked why God had abandoned him (Matthew 27:46, Psalm 22:1). But unlike the psalmist who lived, Jesus died. Just when all hope seemed lost, Jesus rose from his grave after three long days of divine silence. Like God was to Israel, Jesus rose to become an all-powerful shepherd. Jesus has split open death. He turns graves into dry ground. And Jesus leads the dying from the bottom of their coffins to new and eternal life. 

This is God’s final word to his people. There is no suffering or silence, power or pain that can separate us from God’s rescuing power and resurrection love (Romans 8:38-39). So like the psalmist, we can always remember that God’s love is measured by his cross and his power is measured by his resurrection. God’s current silence is not God’s last word to us; Jesus is.

See For Yourself

I pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see the God who saves. And may you see Jesus as the one who is God’s final word to us.

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