The psalmist shows what fierce combat he had with diffidence, 1-9. The victory which he had by consideration of God's great and gracious works, 10-20.
1 [To the Chief Musician, to Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.] I cried to God with my voice, even to God with my voice, and he gave ear to me.
2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord. My hand was stretched out in the night and did not cease. My soul refused to be comforted.
3 I remembered God and was troubled. I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed. [Selah.]
4 You hold my eyes waking. I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.
6 I call to remembrance my song in the night. I commune with my own heart, and my spirit made diligent search.
7 Will the Lord cast off forever? And will he no longer be favorable?
8 Is his mercy wholly gone forever? Does his promise fail forevermore?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his tender mercies? [Selah.]
10 And I said, "This is my infirmity, but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High."
11 I will remember the works of the LORD. Surely I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will meditate also of all your work and talk of your doings.
13 Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary. Who is so great a God as our God?
14 You are the God who does wonders. You have declared your strength among the people.
15 You have with your arm redeemed your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. [Selah.]
16 The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you. They were afraid. The depths also were disturbed.
17 The clouds poured out water. The skies sent out a sound. Your arrows also went abroad.
18 The voice of your thunder was in the heaven. The lightnings lightened the world. The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way is in the sea and your paths in the great waters, and your footsteps are not known.
20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 77[➚]
John Calvin's Chapter Summary:
Whoever was the penman of this psalm, the Holy Spirit seems, by his mouth, to have dictated a common form of prayer for the Church in her afflictions, that even under the most cruel persecutions the faithful might not fail to address their prayers to heaven. It is not the private grief of some particular individual which is here expressed, but the lamentations and groanings of the chosen people. The faithful celebrate the deliverance which had been once wrought for them, and which was a testimony of God's everlasting grace, to animate and strengthen themselves to engage in the exercise of prayer with the greater earnestness.