Vs. 1-3 indicate the Psalmist’s troubling thoughts;
Vs. 4-9 show doubting questions with no reassuring answers;
Vs. 10-20 find reassurance in the written Scriptural record of God’s past response.
Again, the point is obvious: God does not have to perform His miraculous response for each generation, since He has left a written record from the past. Neither does God have to keep performing identified miracles of Jesus Christ or His Apostles in order for someone today to be convinced. Jesus Christ said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24). Since He spoke, everyone may “hear” Jesus’ “word” by reading it in the writings. “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31). Written miracles do not have to be repeated to be believed. When faith is troubled by questions, the answers are in the Bible! Days of trouble should be days of prayer to God.
Verses 1-3: In verse 1, the Psalmist doesn’t cry out to God because God cannot hear, but because the sins of the nation has separated them from God. “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2). In verse 2, God responds because the sinner: “sought the Lord,” stretched out his hand all night, and “refused to be comforted.” In short, the sinner acknowledged his lost condition without God! Verse 3 makes clear that the burden should be upon the sinner for his own sins.
Verses 4-9: In verses 4-6, the thought of living without God drives sleep from the eyes and tone from the voice (verse 4); consumes the mind in remembrance of what God did in the past (verse 5; Deuteronomy 32:7-9); takes nighttime music away because the mind is focused on this trouble (verse 6). How has sin damaged one’s relation to God: (verse 7) rejected forever? (verse 8) no appeal for mercy? (verse 9) has God closed His thought of us?
Verses 10-20: The anguish is caused within the Psalmist, not because of anything God had done (verse 10). The solution was to “remember,” “meditate,” and “talk” of what was written in the Bible about God (verse 11-12). Since God’s way is “in the sanctuary,” that is, beyond our world, we can but react to His works which are seen, our God is the greatest, for He: “does wonders,” declared His “strength among the peoples (verses 13-14). His deeds are planned without man, but recorded for man. Verses 15-20 recount God’s deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage (Exodus 9-14; 2 Samuel 22:1-51). “Jacob” is their namesake (“Israel,” Genesis 32:28), “Joseph” was their Savior (Genesis 47:11-17), and the descriptions of God’s power in delivering the Israelites is awe-inspiring, indeed. Nothing in Scripture teaches that God must miraculously deliver His people today, but that He did so in the past surely should be encouraging to believers. Troubles and doubts are cast away when bathed in the faith from the Word of God (Romans 10:17). “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior” (2 Peter 3:1-2).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.