Asaph had problems. He struggled with his faith. He was despondent. He says, “As for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped” (73:2). He asked, “O God, why do you cast us off forever?” (74:1) He just seems to be one of those melancholy personalities; maybe like Eeyore the donkey? Ever known that person? Well, for Asaph, there was a solution. Rather than mope and play the victim, he gives thanks to God and remembers all his good works: “We recount your wondrous deeds” (75:1 & Psalm 76).
Then, there is Psalm 77. An unhappy psalm filled with marvelous hope. Wow, that doesn’t sound quite right, does it? Here’s the thing, though; Asaph is miserable. He can’t seem to find God. He cries out to God all night long, but he seems not to be there. He cannot sleep. His spirit faints. It seems as if God has cast him off. And then, he has this moment of clarity. If he cannot find God in the present, he will find him in the past. That is, he will begin to recall God's great acts and faithfulness in the past. And he will be encouraged, knowing that the God who has been faithful in the past will continue to be so. He does not change. Just a good lesson for the child of God!
Forever shall His promise fail?
Has God forgotten grace?
Has He withdrawn His tender love,
In anger hid His face?
These doubts are my infirmity,
My thoughts at once reply;
I call back years of God’s right hand,
The years of God Most High.
I will commemorate, O Lord,
Thy wondrous deeds of old,
And meditate upon Thy works
Of pow’r and grace untold. –The Psalter (1900)