Weekday Devotion: Psalm 80

A continuing series of Psalm devotions for upcoming Sundays. These are written by Rev. Christopher Antonetti and adapted from The Psalms: A Devotional Commentary by C.M. Zorn.

Psalm 80:7-19

Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved! 

    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. 
     The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches. 
     It sent out its branches to the sea
and its shoots to the River.
    Why then have you broken down its walls,
so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
    The boar from the forest ravages it,
and all that move in the field feed on it.
    Turn again, O God of hosts!
Look down from heaven, and see; 
       have regard for this vine,
        the stock that your right hand planted,
and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.
    They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down;
may they perish at the rebuke of your face!
    But let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
    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!

This Psalm is the cry of the church to God, both the church of the Old and New Testament. The church reminds God of all He did for it in the past, of what it is now, and what it has become thanks to the grace of God. The Old Testament church, the church of Israel, coming from Jacob, was taken out of slavery in Egypt by the Lord. The Lord planted them like a vine in their own land, and they thrived and grew. The New Testament church also, the church of Jesus Christ, has been planted by God and spread over the whole earth to be a blessing to all nations.

Yet things in the church are not always well in this world. The church experiences distress. It seems like God no longer protects it. The wall is down. There is no growth. We pray to God, why is this so? Why do enemies take away it’s fruit and destroy it?

The church does not expect a direct answer from the Lord but appeals to His faithfulness. God has been faithful to His church before. It is his son, adopted through baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection. The church continually asks God to be faithful to the one He has planted. For the church is the branch on the vine that is Jesus Christ himself. God, be faithful to us and rebuke your enemies who would tear down what you have planted, both outside and inside the visible church! If only you let us live, we will not turn back from you, we will call upon your name. Let your face shine on us, and we shall be saved!
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