I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. (Ps. 77:1 NIV)
The psalmist cried out dramatically, emphatically, and intensely. In the NKJV, there is a repetition of the phrase, "to God with my voice." This suggests that again and again he cried out to God. Although it is not noticeable with the first glance, this cry is not only personal but national. He sees the northern kingdom possibly coming under siege with some military threat from a hostile army. "I cry" is possibly on behalf of those in the nation. Then, the national cry becomes a personal, individual cry.
From there, he makes an emotional move. That is, he draws vivid word pictures to portray the desperation of his laments. Verses 1 through 6 are a compilation of images describing his frantic search for God in a time of trouble. If paint could be applied to the canvas to contrast these colors, what would be the final product? They would be murky, inky, melancholy, dark, and pessimistic. There would be no bright colors on this particular painting.
In these words, there is something said about God: God Himself pulled this writer's eyelids back and all that he could do was stay up, never finding sleep. He tried to rest at night. In verse 6, he remembers the songs of the night. Possibly, he is referring to the moments in his previous years when a mother would come to comfort him with lullabies. In my childhood, when I suffered from asthma and couldn't catch my breath, my mother would rock me in her arms and sing night songs while I fell asleep to her voice and the beating of her heart. But at this point, the writer says that the songs of the night no longer work.
Lord God, in our distress—national and individual—we cry out to You, knowing that You hear us when we call. Indeed, You are our only hope! Our confidence is in You, not in ourselves. We look to You because only You have the answer. Amen.