A Season of Psalms - Psalm 80:4-7
“O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers? You have fed them with the bread of tears and given them tears to drink in full measure. You make us an object of contention for our neighbors, and our enemies laugh among themselves. Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved!”
English Standard Version (ESV)
I enjoy long car trips with my family. In 2016 we drove from Katy to North Carolina with our 2 kids for a week of vacation on the beach (that’s 1,236.3 miles with a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old, if you’re counting). We drove 10 hours from Katy to Alabama before spending the night. The next day we drove another 10 hours and finally arrived on the outskirts of Holden Beach…only to drive into the fiercest thunderstorm I’d ever seen. Pounding rain, enormous flashes of lightning, deafening thunder, gale-force winds. Driving in rainstorms always makes me tense, and this took my tension to a whole new level as I was trying to navigate our car safely through the storm while driving through pitch-black darkness trying to find our elusive beach-house…and from the
back seat comes the uber-calm voice of my son, “Daddy, are we there yet?” I hadn’t heard those
5 dreaded words for 1,230 miles; why now in the midst of a frightening storm?
The children of Israel were asking a similar question in Psalm 80. Not “Are we there yet?” but rather “Is it over yet?” God had redeemed His people from Egyptian slavery and brought them into “a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” Once established in this new land, idolatry and pride led to Israel’s downfall, and here in Psalm 80, they cry for restoration after the nation has been leveled and ravaged. Notice that in times of calamity, Israel returned to God: “Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!” Once they were restored and Israel prospered, they would slip back into idolatry and all forms of immorality. As Israel repeated her mistakes, God gave them over as plunder to pagan nations for longer periods of time. And each time, Israel would ask, “When will it be over?”
When we fall into sin, we must often face the consequences of our sin. But, gratefully, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, who will deliver us from our sin, cleanse our hearts, and renew a right spirit within us. Good news: we are forgiven…and more loved than we can possibly imagine!
Further Reading: Psalm 51; 1 John 1:9-10
Pray with me:
Lord, You are good and Your mercy endures forever. Have mercy on me, a sinner. In Jesus’ name, Amen.