Saturday, September 12, 2020

Out of the Maze

 At the beginning of Psalm 77, the writer (Asaph) seems to be as confused and scared as someone who’s trying to find his way out of a maze on a foggy night. Perhaps we identify with him when he says,  

I cried out to God with my voice…

And He [listened] to me.

…I sought the LORD;

My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing;

My soul refused to be comforted (Psalm 77:1-2, NKJV).


Even remembering God troubled Asaph. Why? He doesn’t say, but I wonder, Was it because he thought God wasn’t acting like the kind of God he’d known and trusted? That could explain why he complained and felt overwhelmed.

Following the first three verses is the word Selah, which one Bible version translates “Pause in his presence.”

Asaph does that. He remembers the “good old days.” He searches for answers to hard questions: Will the Lord cast off forever? Will He ever be favorable toward me/my nation again? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forever? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has God become so angry that He has shut up His tender mercies?

 But…beginning in verse 10, Asaph’s thinking shifts dramatically. He says, both to himself and to God:

In the remainder of the psalm, Asaph does those three things—and finds the way out of the spiritual maze.

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