Verse 20. "Thou leddest thy people like a flock " - This may refer to the pillar of cloud and fire. It went before them, and they followed it. So, in the eastern countries, the shepherd does not drape, but leads, his flock. He goes before them to find them pasture, and they regularly follow him.
"By the hand of Moses and Aaron. " - They were God's agents; and acted, in civil and sacred things, just as directed by the Most High.
ANALYSIS OF THE SEVENTY-SEVENTH PSALM
In this Psalm the prophet shows the bitter agony which a troubled spirit undergoes from a sense of God's displeasure; and the comfort which it afterwards receives through faith in his promises.
"There are two parts in this Psalm: " - I. The psalmist sets forth the strife between the flesh and the spirit; and how the flesh tempts the spirit to despair, and calls in question the goodness of God, ver. 1-10.
II. Next, he shows the victory of the spirit over the flesh; being raised, encouraged, and confirmed by the nature, promises, and works of God, ver. 11-20.
This is an excellent Psalm, and of great use in spiritual desertion.
I. The strife. The prophet betakes himself to God. 1. He prays. 2. Prays often. 3. Prays earnestly. 4. And with a troubled soul. The Psalms is, therefore, not the expression of a despairing soul, but of one that has a great conflict with temptation.
Though he complains, yet he despairs not.
I. His complaint is bitter, and he sets down how he was exercised.
1. He found no intermission; day and night he was in distress. His voice was continually lifted up, and his hands constantly stretched out to God in prayer. When no man saw him, he prayed. His complaint was in secret, and far from hypocrisy, which always loves to have witnesses.
2. He refused to be comforted, ver. 2.
3. Even the "remembrance Of God troubled him," ver. 3.
4. His soul was overwhelmed, ver. 3.
5. He became at last speechless through grief, ver. 4.
6. All sleep departed from him, ver. 4.
II. He shows that his grief was aggravated by a consideration of the happiness he once enjoyed, but had lost.
1. He had considered the days of old, ver. 5.
2. He could rejoice in and praise God, ver. 6.
3. But now, on diligent search, all good is gone, ver. 6.
4. His debate between hope and despair, which leads him to break out in the following interrogations:
1. Will the Lord cast off for ever? 2.
Will he be favourable no more? 3. Is his mercy clean gone? 4. Doth his promise fail? 5. Hath God forgotten to be gracious? 6. Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? ver. 7-9.
II. How he is restored.
1. He begins with a correction of himself: "I said, This is my infirmity," ver. 10.
2. Takes encouragement from a remembrance: ] (1) Of God's ways: "I will remember-the right hand of the Most High," ver. 10.
(2) Of his WORKS: "I will remember thy wonders of old," ver. 11.
3. On these he will meditate and discourse, ver. 12.
(1) He then addresses his speech to God; who he understands is to be sought in his sanctuary, ver. 13.
(2) And who is "infinitely great and good," ver. 13.
(3) Who has declared his strength among the people, ver. 14.
(4) And particularly to the descendants of Jacob, ver. 15.
III. He amplifies the story of their deliverance from Egypt by several instances of God's power.
1. In the RED SEA: "The waters saw thee," ver. 16.
2. In the HEAVENS: "The clouds poured out water, ver. 17.
3. In the EARTH: "The earth trembled and shook," ver. 18.
IV. The final cause of all was that he might lead his people out of their bondage, and destroy their enemies, ver. 19, 20.