“The waters saw You, God; The waters saw You, they were in anguish; The ocean depths also trembled. The clouds poured out water; The skies sounded out; Your arrows flashed here and there.” – Psalm 77:16-17 (ESV)
There is a historical context for this Psalm of Asaph. Verses 19 and 20 indicate that it is regarding the crossing of the Red Sea during the Exodus. It is when we recall the time when the power of God intervened in our lives with a result that could only be the power and mercy of God. It is interesting that the psalmist attributes emotion to the waters and the depth of the Red Sea saying they were in anguish and trembling. It is vivid poetry applying imagination to what happened. Apart from the poetry of the description, the mention of rain and thunder and the quaking of the earth might surprise us. But it comes from the narrative in Exodus 14:24-25 where such sever weather effects were a part of the event in the way the pursuing Egyptians were mired in the sea bed and perished. Our God is a powerful God and able to do everything He choses to do without hinderance from the laws of nature. God is not bound by the natural laws as we are. Afterall the laws of physics and nature were created by God for our purpose.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:1-3 (ESV)
A familiar Psalm that is often used in time of difficulty, danger, stress, and fear. Many go to it when their hearts are heavy and they are carrying an emotional load. The Psalm has been divided into 6 verses and they are packed with promises and encouragement. It was so natural for David to use this metaphor. He had been a shepherd once and he had cared this way for his sheep. Jesus identified Himself as the ‘Good Shepherd’ that was promised and expected (John 10:4). The writer of Hebrews calls Jesus the ‘Great Shepherd’ (Hebrews 13:20) and Peter writes of Jesus as the ‘Chief Shepherd’ (1 Peter 5:4). David tells us that God, our Shepherd provides all we need fully. God tends to our physical needs for good food and water. Our troubles though sometimes go beyond our physical and emotional needs and actually cause us unrest within our souls. God takes care of us in these needs as well. He knows we need restoration and guidance along the righteous way. He does all this for His name’s sake. He has promised and He keeps every promise He gives us. Holy is His Name.
“He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!”” Daniel 3:25 (NASB)
IT was none other than the Son of God. That Great Shepherd of the sheep saw three of His faithful servants in peril, and He came from His Father’s presence. He had with His Father’s to be with them in it. He had been watching that terrible attempt to burn the faithful. His tender pitying eye saw that they were condemned to death because of their loyalty to Him. With one great leap He sprang from the Father’s presence, from His palace in glory, right down into the fiery furnace, and was by their side before the heat of the fire could come near unto them. Jesus was with His servants as the flames wrapped around them. He would not allow a single hair of their heads was singed. They were not scorched; not even the smell of fire was upon them. We can almost fancy I hear them chanting the promise God had given through Isaiah: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. (Isaiah 43:2 NASB)
Thanks in part to: A Living Daily Message From the Words of D. L. Moody selected by Emma Moody Fitt; Copyright 1900 by Fleming H. Revell Company, now in public domain.