The Power of Common Words
In this brief clip from his teaching series Learning to Love the Psalms, W. Robert Godfrey encourages us to pay attention to the common words in Scripture as he explains the usage of “hand” in Psalm 77.
One of the things that good to do when you’re looking at the Psalms is to look at words that are repeated. Sometimes it’s very common words. Verse 2: “In the day of my trouble, I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying.” You can see him raising him his hand, asking the Lord to take his hand. And then in verse 10, we read, “Then I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the most high. So he’s raising his hand, reaching out to the hand of God remembering that the hand of God reached him and blessed him in times past. And we close with verse 20, “You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”
So the hand of God may not have been right there. He may not have seen the hand of God, felt the hand of God, but God holds his hand through the hand of Moses and Aaron. And it’s a picture of God being with His people—but not always visibly, not always with a clear answer to every question. But with a presence by the hand of those appointed to lead His people. And so this is really a marvelous Psalm in terms of expressing the depth of pain but also showing a way forward. It doesn’t close by saying, ‘And then I felt perfect again.’ No, ‘but I had a hand to hold onto that reminded me that God was holding onto my hand as well.