Oh how quickly we forget! In trouble, the people cry out to God to be saved, restored, and promise to stay faithful! How often have we heard that (78:34-42)? Check 80:4. It sounds like one of our prayers!
Turn us again, O God, and cause Thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt Thou be angry against the prayer of Thy people? Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure (Ps.80:3-5).
The psalmist was praying a prayer that was asking the Lord how much longer His people would have to suffer. It should be noted that he is not saying they should not be suffering. It is evident from the scriptures that Israel had been in a state of sin. Like any good Father, God was punishing His children. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience (Eph. 5:6).
The psalmist was asking the Lord to turn His people back to Him. It would seem he had a desire to see the nation of Israel experience a heart change. He wanted them to return to God, their Heavenly Father. There is definitely a prayer for revival found here in the psalmist's words.
This brings to mind another Old Testament scripture. The similarities are there in the fact that if God's people would turn to Him then God would respond in a like manner in answering their prayer. If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (II Chr. 7:14).
The psalmist says if God's people would turn back to Him that would cause His, face to shine (80:3). This would seem to mean that the people of God would once again find favour in His eyes. God would no longer have to be angry with them.
However, at the time this was written that was not yet the case. God was still looking at His people in their sin. This caused their relationship to God to be damaged at best.
It is very easy to look and pass judgment. Why don't they just repent? It would seem it would be easy to restore their relationship with God. But how often do we find ourselves in the same position? We have strayed off of God's path. We may even be living in sin. It is so easy to repent and reconnect with God, but we sometimes choose not to do so. It is in these situations that we are challenged to think back to these verses. We would have challenged Israel to turn to God; let's challenge ourselves to do the same.
But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance (Acts 26:20).
Thought for Today:
Why did God call Abraham his friend? (See Jas. 2:33) Can He say that about you?
As the true Shepherd (Ps. 80:1). Christ is the Good Shepherd and the Door through which one must enter to be saved. He alone is The Way to heaven (John 10:9,11; 14:6).
78:15 clave, split; 78:34 inquired early, sought diligently; 79:4 derision, ridicule; 80:3 Turn us again, Restore us; 80:8 a vine, Israel; 80:12 hedges, wall or fences; 80:18 quicken, revive.
Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to show you any sins that you are not aware of and to cleanse you of them (Ps. 19:12).
Optional Reading: II Thessalonians 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 6:7