Psalms 77 – The Cup of David and the King’s Varying Mental Experience


How many can thoroughly understand the cup that David drank?  How many have been cast into such deep perplexity and affliction that trembling takes the place of sleep, and that the mind feels as if it is shaking uncontrollably to pieces in the skull?  When the pain is so sharp and feels incurable that it takes the breath away, and the whole life seems to be destined to be consumed of the fires of tribulation?  When food is the last thing desired, for what is the use?

“In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.”

When the weight of past sins, weaknesses, and shortcomings seem to crush the very spirit out of the soul?  When the hopes seem to sink as in a bottomless pit, and the body is paralyzed for lack of strength?

“I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.
Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.”

Trying to hold on, as if with just the tips of the fingers, but Satan stands, even through human agents, to magnify your failings before you to tempt to despair and lose trust in your only Hope and turn from the Light?  But knowing one’s lack of worthiness and weakness, all that can possibly be mustered from the depths of the soul is, Lord, Save me?

I will leave you with a read, about the same chapter, from a devotional entitled Christ Triumphant:

“The psalmist David in his experience had many changes of mind. At times as he obtained views of God’s will and ways, he was highly exalted. Then as he caught sight of the reverse of God’s mercy and changeless love, everything seemed to be shrouded in a cloud of darkness. . . . When he meditated upon the difficulties and dangers of life, they looked so forbidding that he thought himself abandoned by God because of his sins. He viewed his sin in such a strong light that he exclaimed, ‘Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?’

“As he wept and prayed, he obtained a clearer view of the character and attributes of God, and being educated by heavenly agencies, he decided that his ideas of God’s justice and severity were exaggerated. . .” (Ellen White, pg. 153)

May the Lord cause you to know His name,

Jeffrey Maxwell

**Editor’s Note: It has been noted that this psalm is attributed to Asaph, not David. It is also understood by appropriate scholarship that the phrase “Of Asaph” or “Of David” does not necessarily mean “written by Asaph” and can also mean “transcribed by,” “in the style of,” “in remembrance of,” “according to,” and so on.

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