Psalm 80 – Restore Us, O Lord God Almighty

imageRestore us, O God;

make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved. (Ps 80:3)

This plea for restoration  echoes three times in the psalm, and it is very familiar to readers of the psalter. Israel pleas for God’s love to return to her and to save her from her enemies. In many of the preceding psalms we have heard this same petition sounded on an individual basis, as the king asks to be relieved of the many enemies who come against him. The corporate plea is of the same timbre, how long God? How long will your punishment last?

Israel’s petition takes the path of covenant reminders. She reminds God of what He has done for her in the past, reminding Him of her special status in His eyes. Yes, we’ve been bad God. Yes, we’ve deserved punishment. But how much God? How long will you punish us for the sins of our fathers?

Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Though we are forgiven of all, past, present and future, we are not given to license. Should our choices lead to consequence, we ask our Lord for relief. How long, we ask. How long must we suffer the consequence of our choice? We often follow the same pattern in pleading for relief. We remind God—as though He has forgotten—how he saved us. We remind Him of all that He has done to change our circumstance. We may even try to convince God that all of this punishment makes Him look bad.

We rarely see Israel and her unfaithfulness in ourselves.

Grace and peace to you.

Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Seven

imageRestore us, O God Almighty; make you face shine upon us, that we may be saved. (Psalm 80:7)

From John’s cry at the Jordan river to dark day of the Cross, Jesus made it clear that everything was changing in relation to man and God. Repentance would no longer take the form of external sacrifice of a prescribed nature. True repentance would require allegiance to the One Ultimate Sacrifice. Though there would be momentary darkness at Calvary, Resurrection morning would shine a warm, sustained light upon us.

We can meditate on the grace extended to us through that sacrificial act and be thankful that we no longer must plea to the heavens as the Pslamist does in Psalm 80,

Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock; you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.

Awaken your might; come and save us. (vv 1-2)

God has extended salvation to all who will repent and name Him as Lord in their lives. The light shines on all and yet, some will continue to see the darkness. Let them see the effect the light has had on you and invite them out. God is good and His face shines upon us.

Grace and peace to you.


image rusty russ