During the ten years that I was a part of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, which was upholding the high, historic view of the Bible, one of the arguments against our position was that the Scriptures are authoritative and inerrant in matters of faith and morals, but not in matters of history or science. We answered then, as I still do today, that for Christians faith and morals cannot be separated from history or even from science, because Christianity is an historical religion; attacks on its roots in history inevitably and always undermine it.

The last stanza of Psalm 77 (vv. 16-19, plus verse 20) carries through the theme introduced in stanza five, describing the Exodus more fully and in poetic language. Indeed, stanza five calls for it. For not only does it introduce the idea (“you redeemed your people," referring to the Exodus), it also echoes words and themes from Moses’ great Song of the Exodus after the crossing of the Red Sea (see Exod. 15).

What the psalmist remembers about God when he reflects on the years of his working is in the stanza comprising verses 13-15. This is all about God, just as the opening stanzas of the psalm were mostly about Asaph. Here, in a manner that makes us think of the musings of Habakkuk in the first chapter of his prophecy, the psalmist muses on the attributes of God as seen in Israel's history. He recalls three matters.

But at least he has begun to think about God, which is what his memories of past days inevitably lead him to do. For whether he senses the presence of God with him now, at least he did then and he had reason to be happy. Ah, but that is just the problem, isn't it? He was happy with God then. He is not now. God seems to be utterly absent, to have abandoned him. And what he is afraid of is that this apparent abandonment will go on forever. He is afraid that he will never get out of his depressed state and that depression will only lead to blank despair.

In the second stanza (vv. 3-6) Asaph tells the reader a bit more about his depressed state of mind, explaining in verses 5 and 6 that what troubled him most in his musings was the memory of former days when he was happy enough in God to sing songs in the night. The important word in this stanza is “remember,” which also reappears in stanza four. Here he is remembering his former happiness. In stanza four he remembers the mighty deeds of God (v. 11), which is a significant shift of his focus.