S.R. Hirsch translates this as saying:
TO HIM WHO GRANTS VICTORY. CONCERNING THE PROVIDENCES OF GOD'S HAND. A PSALM OF ASAPH.
See our explanation at the beginning to Psalm 39.
[Psalms 77:1] I CRIED UNTO GOD WITH MY VOICE, EVEN UNTO GOD WITH MY VOICE; AND HE GAVE EAR UNTO ME.
I called to God and HE heard me.
[Psalms 77:2] IN THE DAY OF MY TROUBLE I SOUGHT THE LORD: MY SORE RAN IN THE NIGHT, AND CEASED NOT: MY SOUL REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED.
This translation from the KJ is difficult:
The verse should perhaps be rendered thusly:
IN THE DAY OF MY TROUBLE I SOUGHT MEANS TO SAVE MYSELF [Hebrew: "Yadi", literally "my hands"] BUT IT HAD GONE AWAY IN THE NIGHT. MY SOUL REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED.
[Psalms 77:3] I REMEMBERED GOD, AND WAS TROUBLED: I COMPLAINED, AND MY SPIRIT WAS OVERWHELMED. SELAH.
<<TROUBLED>>: Hebrew: "ve-Ehamiah" meaning "and I was disturbed", perturbed, moved emotionally.
[Psalms 77:4] THOU HOLDEST MINE EYES WAKING: I AM SO TROUBLED THAT I CANNOT SPEAK.
<<SO TROUBLED>>: Hebrew: "Niphamti" literally, "My heart was caused to beat as if pounding".
This Psalm could be considered as describing a very serious perturbation or sickness.
[Psalms 77:5] I HAVE CONSIDERED THE DAYS OF OLD, THE YEARS OF ANCIENT TIMES.
It is as if the singer of the Psalm fears that death is near. He seeks God but cannot find him. He tries to do something but finds his ability to help himself has disappeared in the night. He is seriously disturbed and his heart is pounding. He begins to consider his past life.
In the manner of the Psalms the singer extrapolates from his own experiences to those of the Community of Israel.
We are in trouble. Our ability to correct the situation appears to be escaping us. We should reconsider our ways and correct our path.
[Psalms 77:6] I CALL TO REMEMBRANCE MY SONG IN THE NIGHT: I COMMUNE WITH MINE OWN HEART: AND MY SPIRIT MADE DILIGENT SEARCH.
<<MY SONG>>: We all have a "song" of our own. This is something we do, something that makes us a little different and through which we give to those around us and to our family and people.
Not everyone is aware of their "song" and the tune can change from time to time.
Nevertheless we should strive to know who we are and what we can do, emphasize the positive and not go backward but at the least maintain an even keel.
We are what we are. No one of us is indispensable but on the other hand there is nobody else who can do the same thing iun the same way.
We should be aware of this, not be jealous of others and not overweening.
There is nobody else like you!
When you come to face the Almighty you will be alone and have to give account according to what you did and could have done and did not.
[This is to be taken seriously but a little humor would not hurt either.
None of us wants to be eulogized no matter flattering (or not) our laudation (if there is one) may be].
[Psalms 77:7] WILL THE LORD CAST OFF FOR EVER? AND WILL HE BE FAVOURABLE NO MORE?
[Psalms 77:8] IS HIS MERCY CLEAN GONE FOR EVER? DOTH HIS PROMISE FAIL FOR EVERMORE?
[Psalms 77:9] HATH GOD FORGOTTEN TO BE GRACIOUS? HATH HE IN ANGER SHUT UP HIS TENDER MERCIES? SELAH.
The Singer of the Psalm begins to ask rhetorical questions: Have we been permanenlty abandoned?
Is there no mercy? No pity? No chance for rehabilitation? What about the promises?
Even so, we feel in the crescendo of self-pitying queries a reassertion of hope and belief.
The patient is coming back to himself. The Almighty will help him pull through.
[Psalms 77:10] AND I SAID, THIS IS MY INFIRMITY: BUT I WILL REMEMBER THE YEARS OF THE RIGHT HAND OF THE MOST HIGH.
My infirmity is my disbelief and lack of remembering how the Almighty has always helped me in times of trouble and will continue to do so if I only meditate on my ways and turn back to God.
[Psalms 77:11] I WILL REMEMBER THE WORKS OF THE LORD: SURELY I WILL REMEMBER THY WONDERS OF OLD.
[Psalms 77:12] I WILL MEDITATE ALSO OF ALL THY WORK, AND TALK OF THY DOINGS.
[Psalms 77:13] THY WAY, O GOD, IS IN THE SANCTUARY: WHO IS SO GREAT A GOD AS OUR GOD?
God in in the Sanctuary of the Temple in Jerusalem even though the Temple is in ruins the heavenly Prototype still remains and the physical model be restored.
[Psalms 77:14] THOU ART THE GOD THAT DOEST WONDERS: THOU HAST DECLARED THY STRENGTH AMONG THE PEOPLE.
[Psalms 77:15] THOU HAST WITH THINE ARM REDEEMED THY PEOPLE, THE SONS OF JACOB AND JOSEPH. SELAH.
The people of Israel are the People of Jacob (in this case Judah and the other Tribes) and Joseph.
To go against the peoples of Israel is to go against the Almighty.
To work for the good of the Peoples of Israel is to work for the Almighty.
This should be at least part of our mission in life.
The Radak says that this Psalm concerns the Exile.
The first Exile was the sojourn in Egypt which was occasioned by Joseph bringing the House of Jacob, his father, to Egypt where he supported and provided for them.
The Midrash says that all the Tribes could be named after Joseph since he provided for them in the same way as an orphan may be named after his adoptive father.
[Psalms 77:16] THE WATERS SAW THEE, O GOD, THE WATERS SAW THEE; THEY WERE AFRAID: THE DEPTHS ALSO WERE TROUBLED.
[Psalms 77:17] THE CLOUDS POURED OUT WATER: THE SKIES SENT OUT A SOUND: THINE ARROWS ALSO WENT ABROAD.
[Psalms 77:18] THE VOICE OF THY THUNDER WAS IN THE HEAVEN: THE LIGHTNINGS LIGHTENED THE WORLD: THE EARTH TREMBLED AND SHOOK.
The Almighty expresses HIMSELF through nature and the wonders of nature.
Natural disasters are also expressions of Divine Displeasure.
In the past when American leaders forced the State of Israel to make concessions that were harmful to the Jewish people natural disasters came almost like "clockwork" on the USA.
Many have written of this. Some may have exaggerated or used inappropriate expressions yet it is very pertinent and very true.
Rabbi: Hurricane punishment for pullout
Yet Rabbi Ovadia was not done there, and proceeded to explain in detail why Americans deserved the Hurricane.
"Bush was behind the (expulsion of) Gush Katif, he said. He encouraged Sharon to expel Gush Katifwe had 15,000 people expelled here, and there 150,000 (were expelled). It was Gods retribution ..God does not short-change anyone.
He (Bush) perpetrated the expulsion. Now everyone is mad at himthis is his punishment for what he did to Gush Katif, and everyone else who did as he told them, their time will come, too, the rabbi said.
"Mother Nature or Wrath of God?
These Divine Visitations in a sense are a sign of favor from the Almighty.
The USA has been belessed greatly despite all its troubles.
The USA has also done much good and this is apparently what the Almighty wants it to do.
God wants the USA to help the State of Israel and the Jewish People.
This is a source of blessing for the USA and for al others who adopt the same attitude.
[Psalms 77:19] THY WAY IS IN THE SEA, AND THY PATH IN THE GREAT WATERS, AND THY FOOTSTEPS ARE NOT KNOWN.
The Midrash says that the Red Sea split by virtue of Joseph.
When the USA was first founded it was considered placing an image of the Israelites passing through the Red Sea on the Great Seal.
[Psalms 77:20] THOU LEDDEST THY PEOPLE LIKE A FLOCK BY THE HAND OF MOSES AND AARON.
The Law of Moses and the direction of the Sages is a source of salvation for Judah and through Judah for the rest of Israel and the whole of creation.