Psalm 80:8-19

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by: FCC Staff

08/03/2022

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“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!”  Psalm 80:8-19

Life offers us many frustrating moments.  For me, close to the top of the frustration list are those moments when I am assembling or repairing something and get the order wrong.  More times than I care to admit, as I approached what I thought was the last step in the assembly, I discover an extra part that should have been put in seven steps back.  It is usually something that cannot be inserted without undoing, then redoing seven steps worth of assembly to get it right.  It adds another level of frustration when I actually have instructions, with pictures, that walk me through, step by step, what should have been done.

Getting things out of order is what I think about when I read our Psalm for today.   The Psalm starts out quite nicely talking about how God was good to bring Israel out of Egypt, planted them in fertile soil, and grew them into a lush vineyard.  Then, from one verse to the next, things take a turn and the Psalmist seems to accuse God of sabotaging the vineyard so that others could come in and wreak havoc on it. Then, the mix-up in order happens.  The Psalm ends by telling God that if He comes to the rescue, His people would then turn and start calling on His name.

God’s people had strayed far from Him, and as a result, they found themselves in a precarious situation before their enemies.  God didn’t abandon Israel, and He wasn’t responsible for the dire straits of Israel. It was their own fault as God points out in Jeremiah 2:21, “Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed.  How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?”    

Nevertheless, the course of action taken by Israel at this time in their journey was to dangle worship in front of God like a carrot in order to convince Him to act on their behalf.  “God, do me this favor and then I will worship you,” was the attitude.  If that sounds a bit off to you, it should.  At many points in His relationship with Israel, God voiced the correct order of things:  “And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live…”  (Deuteronomy 4:1), and again, “But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God and you shall be my people.  And walk in all the way I command you, that it may be well with you.’” (Jeremiah 7:23).  The promises of God follow obedience to God’s will. 

God deserves our loyalty, obedience, and worship because He is God. That alone should be the driving force in our lives.  Let’s be diligent to worship our Creator and honor Him with our lives in good times and bad.  We are not promised wealth and health in this world, but like the people of Israel, we do have promises from God.  As people of His New Covenant, we are promised His presence, forgiveness and salvation.  Everything we need.       

Prayer for Today:

God, thank You for loving me and providing forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, and eternal security in You.  Strengthen me to live the life of obedience You have called me to.  God, I commit myself to worship You at all times.  Amen.

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“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!”  Psalm 80:8-19

Life offers us many frustrating moments.  For me, close to the top of the frustration list are those moments when I am assembling or repairing something and get the order wrong.  More times than I care to admit, as I approached what I thought was the last step in the assembly, I discover an extra part that should have been put in seven steps back.  It is usually something that cannot be inserted without undoing, then redoing seven steps worth of assembly to get it right.  It adds another level of frustration when I actually have instructions, with pictures, that walk me through, step by step, what should have been done.

Getting things out of order is what I think about when I read our Psalm for today.   The Psalm starts out quite nicely talking about how God was good to bring Israel out of Egypt, planted them in fertile soil, and grew them into a lush vineyard.  Then, from one verse to the next, things take a turn and the Psalmist seems to accuse God of sabotaging the vineyard so that others could come in and wreak havoc on it. Then, the mix-up in order happens.  The Psalm ends by telling God that if He comes to the rescue, His people would then turn and start calling on His name.

God’s people had strayed far from Him, and as a result, they found themselves in a precarious situation before their enemies.  God didn’t abandon Israel, and He wasn’t responsible for the dire straits of Israel. It was their own fault as God points out in Jeremiah 2:21, “Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed.  How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?”    

Nevertheless, the course of action taken by Israel at this time in their journey was to dangle worship in front of God like a carrot in order to convince Him to act on their behalf.  “God, do me this favor and then I will worship you,” was the attitude.  If that sounds a bit off to you, it should.  At many points in His relationship with Israel, God voiced the correct order of things:  “And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live…”  (Deuteronomy 4:1), and again, “But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God and you shall be my people.  And walk in all the way I command you, that it may be well with you.’” (Jeremiah 7:23).  The promises of God follow obedience to God’s will. 

God deserves our loyalty, obedience, and worship because He is God. That alone should be the driving force in our lives.  Let’s be diligent to worship our Creator and honor Him with our lives in good times and bad.  We are not promised wealth and health in this world, but like the people of Israel, we do have promises from God.  As people of His New Covenant, we are promised His presence, forgiveness and salvation.  Everything we need.       

Prayer for Today:

God, thank You for loving me and providing forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, and eternal security in You.  Strengthen me to live the life of obedience You have called me to.  God, I commit myself to worship You at all times.  Amen.

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