Monday, March 21, 2011

Psalm 80

Israel’s Plea for God’s Mercy

Some Biblical scholars believe this psalm was penned upon the occasion of the desolation and captivity of the ten tribes.  Due to their sins & adulteries, many were the distresses of God’s people.  The psalmist begs for God’s presence with them and favor towards them, and concludes with a prayer to God for mercy towards His people. 
You who dwell between the cherubim,
Shine forth!  ~ Ps. 80:1

On the Ark of the Covenant, the mercy seat was located between the cherubim.  It is here that God met with His people.  How fitting that is the "mercy seat" - how we need / crave God's mercy!
Restore us, O God;
Cause Your face to shine,
And we shall be saved!  ~ Ps. 80:3

Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts;
Look down from Heaven and see . . .  ~Ps. 80:14

In verse 1, Asaph refers to God as “O Shepherd of Israel” – this particular phrase appears only here in the Old Testament. 

In verses 8-11, God’s relationship to Israel  is compared to that which exists between the vinedresser and the vine that he plants & cares for. 
Abide in Me and I in you . . . I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  ~ John 15:4-5
  • God’s Presence is with His people
  • God chastises those He loves
  • Ours is a God of restoration
  • God is my Vinedresser
  • God will punish sin
  • I praise God that, even in the midst of His chastisement, He is still my God
  • I praise God that – because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ as my Savior - I don’t have to fear His wrath
     Thank You, O Lord, that You dwell among Your people.  Even today, Father, Your Holy Spirit resides in those who are Your children.  As our Heavenly Vinedresser, You abide in me, and I abide in You.  May I live this victorious life of abiding in You daily. 
     May I welcome Your chastisement as a sign of Your love for me, and may my heart always be soft to Your molding & shaping me into the image of Your son – in whose name I pray ~ Amen

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