I love watching storms roll in from the safety of my front porch, but do you know where I would be terrified to see a storm? It would scare me to death to be on a boat on the sea!
As Asaph wrote Psalm 77, through the inspiration of the Lord, he began picturing himself on the waters in the storm. His view of the storm was a little different, though. Typically when we see storms, we think of the storm being the enemy, and we are needing God to intervene and rescue us. Asaph however saw the true nature of the storm.
Psalm 77:16-20 "The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled. The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad. The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron."
Why were the waters stirred up and troubled? From where were the arrows of lightening coming? What was the thunder?
Asaph recognized that God was in control of the storm. This trial in his life wasn't an accident that happened and he suddenly needed God's help. This storm was part of God's plan and work in his life. Yes, God's arrows, God's thundering, God's stirring of the waters. How is this good news? How does this help me when I am in a storm? How could Asaph sing a song about God throwing arrows in his life? The key is the last verse.
It seems like the last verse is completely out of place. As a homeschool mom, if I were grading Asaph's writing, I would circle the last sentence with my red pen of judgment and write "off topic." It just doesn't seem to fit! But actually, it's the key to understanding our storms and our God.
Psalm 77:20 "Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron."
You see, Asaph knew the children of Israel were (and still are) God's chosen people. God made a promise to Abraham, and He will keep that promise. He is the Shepherd leading His flock. Our Shepherd leads us. Sometimes He leads us right in the middle of a storm. The amazing thing is that our Shepard who stirs the waters can also part the waters just like He did as Moses and Aaron led the children of Israel through the Red Sea with enemies pursuing. Sometimes He stirs the waters and sends out His arrows. It's during those times we need to remember He is the Master of the wind and seas. They have to obey Him! If He so chooses, the stormy water has to part at His command. Sometimes He wants us to weather the storm, trusting He is in control. Other times He parts the waters for us to walk through on dry ground. We have to trust it's the same Shepherd in both situations... the Water Stirrer and the Water Separator. Trust the Shepherd of the Storm in the storm.