Psalm 77: The Turn
from Self to God
PSALM 77 offers a stunning embodiment of the reorientation of life most hoped for by evangelical faith. In the exposition that follows, I take the psalm not simply as a devotional or liturgical residue of faith but as an actual "speech pilgrimage" of one whose self spoke through to new faith. Specifically, the psalm shows the route by which this life was moved from a preoccupadon with self to a submission to and reliance upon God.
The first part of the psalm is a fairly standard lament statement. We can enter its claim by noticing the quite different rhetorical moves made by the speaker.
1. The speaker is turned inward toward self in pity and selfpreoccupation and can speak of nothing but self (vv. 1–6):
I cry aloud to God.…
I seek the Lord;…
my hand is stretched out;…
my soul refuses to be comforted.
I think of God, and