I have been thinking on Psalm 77 since it came up on my reading plan March 24…two days ago. Verse 19 says, “Your way was through the sea, your path through the waters; yet your footprints were unseen.” I made a simple note in my journal about that verse…”this is good.” LOL! Understatement.
I noted that “this is good”, because it sat down on my soul with a sabbath like rest that was just simply “good” for me at that moment.
Why? Well, because that verse is the crescendo of Psalm 77. Verse 19 brings all the front end questioning home to a most glorious conclusion. God was not absent when it was all not going according to their plans. He was there. They just couldn’t see his activity. What was that activity? He was leading them through the most natural of means. He was there!
Take a few minutes and read Psalm 77:
Psalms 77 (ESV) I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, and he will hear me.
2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.
3 When I remember God, I moan;
when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah
4 You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I consider the days of old,
the years long ago.
6 I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;
let me meditate in my heart.”
Then my spirit made a diligent search:
7 “Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah
10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
15 You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
16 When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
indeed, the deep trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water;
the skies gave forth thunder;
your arrows flashed on every side.
18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lighted up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
- They are seeking the LORD, yet their soul won’t be comforted.
- When they remember the LORD, they moan…he seems so distant.
- They are so troubled they can’t talk.
- They are thinking of all of the good in the past that is currently not felt or seen.
- They begin to question: Will the LORD not be favorable ever again? Has he stopped loving us? Are his promises all gone? Has he forgotten to be gracious?
Have you ever asked those questions when things seemed to be going to junk all around you? Maybe you are thinking these thoughts today.
- Then they have a moment of truthful clarity…I will remember the days of the right hand of the LORD…I will remember his past wonders…I will think of his mighty works that I recall to mind.
- They begin to worship by recalling the LORD’s excellencies…He is holy…No one is like him…He has made himself known among his people…The waters trembled at your presence…His thunder was awesome in such a way that it made the earth quake.
Then this beauty: “Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”
They remembered how the LORD worked on their behalf at the parting of the sea and how they didn’t see him, but it was clear he was there.
Hard times led to hard questions. Hard questions led them to remember the great deeds of the LORD and that remembrance led to worship in the hard time they were experiencing. Then they were given, I’m convinced by the Holy Spirit, the truth: He was there in that hard time, and he was with them in that moment in the most common of ways.
Why was verse 19 so good for me? Because it reminded me that Jesus is here right now, and all I have to do is look into his word to see how he worked then, look into my own journal for testimony of his power now, and be reminded that his footprints may be unseen, but his presence is thick and now and powerful and guiding and delivering and good.
Be encouraged that no matter how dark it may seem, Jesus is near.
His yoke is easy and his burden is light.
Peace to you!