Psalm 80

Psalm 80 is a psalm of Asaph.  It comes Israel splits into two – 10 tribes in the north called Israel, and 2 tribes in the south called Judah.  The psalmist prays for God to restore the land to unity and become whole again.  Three times in the chapter the writer asks God to ‘let your face shine’ which is a request to God for Him to do something good and return to the covenant with His people.  The truth of the matter is that if God’s people obey, He never leaves and these problems never happen.  All issues are caused by our failure to walk in obedience with God.

The first request for God’s intervention is that God “stir up your might and come to save us! Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved”!  The writer wants restoration of the kingdom and protection from their enemies.  There is no question that God is able. The issue is that God is choosing not to do so and while the writer knows that they don’t need to be in the situation they find themselves, only God can help.  “You make us an object of contention for our neighbors, and our enemies laugh among themselves”.

Israel and Judah have become the laughingstock of the world.  They talk about a God who can save them, but the facts certainly don’t align as they have been captured and destroyed.  The psalmist asks God for three things:

  • God stops being angry with them
  • God stops making them cry buckets full of tears
  • God stops their enemies fighting them and laughing at them

“Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved”!  The history is clear.  God had done that and much more for them in the past.

“You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land….It sent out its branches to the sea and its shoots to the River”.  God’s been faithful for centuries to His people.  Now it seems that things have changed.  “Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit”?  It’s an easy answer – the people have rebelled and are no long following God. There needs to be repentance and a return to walking with God.  “Then we shall not turn back from you; give us life, and we will call upon your name! Restore us, O Lord God of hosts! let your face shine, that we may be saved”!  The writer knows what needs to happen.  Now the people must choose to obey!

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