I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:11-12 (NIV)
- Part 1: Devotional on Psalm 77:11–12
- Part 2: In-Depth Study of Psalm 77:11–12
- “I Will Remember the Deeds of the Lord”
- “I Will Remember Your Miracles of Long Ago”
- “I Will Consider All Your Works and Meditate on All Your Mighty Deeds”
- Taken Together
Part 1: Devotional on Psalm 77:11–12
Winston Churchill once said, “The further back we can look, the further forward we can see.” These words resonate deeply with my personal journey. The more I seek to understand my past, the clearer my path to the future becomes.
When I look back on my life, I see times when financial strain, health problems, and family challenges have pushed me to the edge. In those challenging moments, when uncertainty looms and my faith falters, I find comfort in revisiting past experiences. I remind myself of how God has guided me through previous trials, which not only strengthens my resolve in the present but also gives me hope for the future.
When I reflect on the times God has been good to me in the past, I am able to face the challenges ahead with greater strength and fortitude.
The global stage is experiencing political instability, economic uncertainty, and turbulence in various domains. Challenges include increased poverty, escalating unemployment, corporate downsizing, and the threat of artificial intelligence replacing human workers. The world appears to be caught in the grip of a difficult and uncertain future.
In the midst of this collective anxiety, the question arises: What does a person of faith do when faced with an uncertain future and seemingly insurmountable challenges?
The answer to this question, I believe, lies in what Churchill termed “looking backward so that we can see forward.” Churchill’s statement is very much in line with our key text, Psalm 77:11–12.
"I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds." Psalm 77:11-12 (NIV)
In this verse, we see the psalmist pausing to consider God’s faithfulness in various situations and circumstances in his life. He declares, “I will remember,” signifying a deliberate commitment and purpose to remember the deeds, miracles, and works of the Lord in his life.
In our busy lives, we can easily focus on the present or worry about the future and forget how God led us in the past.
When David felt like giving up, he reminded himself of the good things that God had blessed him with. He wrote a song to remind himself of God’s benefits:
Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalms 103:2–5 NKJV)
I may not know the specifics of what you’re currently facing as you read this, but I want to encourage you. In the midst of your present struggles, take a moment to reflect on your past journey. Remember the storms you’ve weathered and the challenges that once seemed insurmountable. By the grace of God and His enabling power, you have prevailed over them.
Your ability to navigate those obstacles is enough motivation to face the future with courage. Seek solace in the instances where God intervened in your life. Trust that, just as He has helped His people in the past, He will also help you in your current situation.
When reflecting on the past, concentrate on the positive aspects rather than the negative. Positive memories generate positive energy.
Looking back at our achievements and positive experiences replenishes our resilience. It promotes a positive outlook on our current situation—an outlook that is grounded in the belief that God will once again come through for us.
Recalling the miracles, deeds, and works that God has performed in the past dispels doubts from our hearts regarding His ability to intervene in our current situations.
Reflecting on God’s past actions brings calmness, strengthens trust, and dispels current despondency. The joyous experiences from the past become a comforting source of solace for those who place their trust in God.
The psalmist gives us the following three key things to remember when anxious about our present and future:
1. Remember God’s Deeds
The journey of life is filled with moments where God has shown His love, mercy, and power. Take time to remember those specific instances when God intervened in your life, providing guidance, comfort, or deliverance. Reflecting on these deeds strengthens our faith and reminds us of God’s active presence.
2. Recall God’s Miracles
Miracles, both big and small, are woven into the fabric of our existence. They may be evident in answered prayers, unexpected blessings, or moments of divine intervention. Consider the miracles that God has performed in your life, and let gratitude well up within you. A heart filled with thanksgiving is a heart prepared to trust God for the future.
3. Consider God’s Works
The psalmist encourages us not only to remember but also to consider all of God’s works. This goes beyond individual experiences to acknowledge the grandeur of God’s creation, the intricacy of His plans, and the beauty of His character. As we meditate on these aspects, our perspective shifts, and we find assurance in the sovereign nature of our Heavenly Father.
As you reflect on God’s deeds, miracles, and works, allow a spirit of gratitude to permeate your heart. Just as the psalmist found solace in remembering, may you find renewed strength and hope for the journey ahead. Let the past be a testimony to God’s faithfulness, and may it inspire confidence in His leading for the future.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your unfailing love and faithfulness. Help us to remember, reflect, and consider all the ways You have guided us in the past. As we meditate on Your deeds, miracles, and works, grant us a deep sense of gratitude and trust in Your leading for the days to come. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Part 2: In-Depth Study of Psalm 77:11–12
“I Will Remember the Deeds of the Lord”
The Hebrew term “zakar,” which is translated here as “I will remember,” carries a broader meaning, according to scholars Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch. In their commentary on the Old Testament, they propose an alternative interpretation, suggesting that zakar can also signify “making known with praise or celebrating,” as evidenced in passages like Isaiah 63:7. Charles John Ellicott in his Commentary for English Readers aligns with this perspective, affirming the notion of celebration and proposing that the text can be appropriately rendered as “I will celebrate.”
The term “zakar,” whether interpreted as remembering or celebrating, doesn’t alter the psalmist’s underlying purpose: to recall and rejoice in God’s wonders, works, and deeds.
What then does the phrase “I will remember” in Psalm 77:11 mean? It means to be intentional in recalling and rejoicing in God’s wonders, works, and deeds. The psalmist says, “I will remember,” in Psalm 77:11–12, expressing a deliberate commitment to always recall God’s deeds, miracles, and works in his life. It’s not a coerced action, but a conscious decision to constantly remind himself of God’s past deeds, miracles, and works. The words “remember,” “consider,” and “meditate” all indicate a conscious effort on the part of the psalmist.
In Psalm 77:11–12, the shorter form of the LORD’s name, “Jah,” is used instead of the longer “Yahweh,” which is also translated as “Jehovah” in many versions. This name, Yahweh or Jehovah, is linked to the concept of deliverance in the Scriptures. For instance, when God sent Moses to confront Pharaoh in Egypt, He identified Himself with the name Yahweh. In Exodus 6:3, it is stated,
“And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” (Exodus 6:3 KJV)
This suggests that God wanted to be known by a distinctive name denoting deliverance for the Israelites, who were slaves in Egypt. From that point onward, this name became associated with deliverance and salvation, as seen in passages like Exodus 15:2 and Psalm 68:4.
So, what does the shorter name of God, ‘Jah,’ as used in Psalm 77:11, signify? From our study above, the word “Jah,” as used in Psalm 77:11, signifies the Lord’s deliverance and salvation.
Rather than dwelling on troubles, the psalmist consciously opts for a positive mindset. Instead of succumbing to despair, the psalmist makes a conscious decision to focus on praising and celebrating God’s past mercies.
Why does the psalmist use plural subjects for “deeds, miracles, and works?” The psalmist’s use of plural subjects for God’s deeds, miracles, and works underscores the richness and abundance of divine involvement in his life. It means God intervened in his life multiple times, blessing him in ways he couldn’t quantify in human terms. God had intervened in his life through a series of interventions throughout his life.
“I Will Remember Your Miracles of Long Ago”
What are the “miracles of long ago” to which the psalmist is referring in Psalm 77:11–12? The psalmist in Psalm 77:11–12 is alluding to the “miracles of long ago,” which specifically pertain to the extraordinary events of the exodus, notably the miraculous parting of the sea.
This interpretation gains support from verses 13–20 within the same chapter, where there are references to the “sea” and “great waters” (verse 19), along with Moses leading God’s “people like a flock” (verse 20). These verses provide context and reinforce the understanding that the miracles of the past, mentioned by the psalmist, encompass the remarkable events surrounding the exodus, particularly the crossing of the sea.
The psalmist states that God’s miracles (plural) happened long ago, indicating a history of God’s intervention.
What does the term “long ago” in Psalm 77:11 highlight? The term “long ago” highlights the enduring impact of God’s faithfulness over time. The interventions of God in the psalmist’s life were a symphony of grace that played out “long ago” in his memories.
“I Will Consider All Your Works and Meditate on All Your Mighty Deeds”
What does the phrase “all your works” mean? The term “works” in this context refers to the wonders of the natural world. In the following verses of Psalm 77, the psalmist elaborates on these wonders, mentioning elements such as the sea (verse 16), rain, lightning (verse 17), thunder, and earthquakes (verse 18).
In essence, the psalmist uses these elements of nature to illustrate the grandeur and might of God’s creation. Each component mentioned, from the expansive sea to the dynamic forces of weather and earth, serves as a testament to the divine craftsmanship that the psalmist contemplates in awe and reverence.
Psalm 77:11–12 encourages us to remember, consider, and meditate on God’s past deeds, miracles, and works. This practice helps us draw courage and strength from God’s past faithfulness and acts as the driving force that empowers us to hope for the future. It becomes the fuel that propels us to hope for the future, instilling a sense of certainty and assurance that our destiny is secure in God’s hands. Essentially, it’s a call for us to place our trust in God concerning our plans, fears, worries, and future, grounded in the assurance of His consistent faithfulness
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