Daily Devotional Psalm 77:1–20
Did you know that there are over a billion sheep on the earth today? In New Zealand, sheep outnumber people five to one! Humans have a long history of tending sheep. Since sheep are naturally defenseless against predators, they tend to be nervous and easily frightened.
You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
If you think about it, we have a lot in common with sheep. The world often seems like a dangerous place. Anxiety and fear are rampant today, even among the most wealthy and successful. In today’s reading, the Psalmist expresses deep distress. Instead of peacefully sleeping through the night, he groans and stretches out his hands to heaven in desperation (vv. 2–3). He laments to God: “You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak” (v. 4).
Most disturbing was the fact that his situation made him question God’s faithfulness. He wondered if God would keep His covenant promises and be true to His nature as compassionate and gracious (vv. 7–9). These troubling doubts increased his anxiety. Imagine, if a sheep started questioning the shepherd’s care and trustworthiness!
The Psalmist then paused and encouraged himself to remember who God is and what He had done (vv. 11–12). He reflected on God’s stunning deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt. He reminded himself that God is powerful and cares about His people. Verses 16–18 remind us of the disciple’s observations about Jesus: “Even the winds and waves obey him!” (Matt. 8:27). This powerful, mighty God is our Shepherd, and we are His sheep. Note the comparison of God’s people to a “flock” in verse 20.
>> Sheep need a shepherd to protect, lead, and calm them. We need that too! When doubts creep in, remember what God has done for you. Best of all, God showed His love by sending Jesus to save us from sin. He made a way for us to be in fellowship with Him. “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing” (Ps. 23:1).
Pray with Us
No matter how desperate our situation, we can find comfort in memories of how You have helped us in the past. Preserve these memories and remind us often, we ask; in present trouble let us not forget Your proven faithfulness.