Thursday, March 11, 2010

Psalm 80

6 comments:

Prairie Chick said...

"God, all Powerful, take us back. Show us your kindness so we can be saved." v7 and repeated in verse 19

This verse really squeezed at my heart the first time, and was the clincher at the end too. It brought to mind how it was not the "Take us back" just made me think of the prodigal son and something that was mentioned in the sermon on Sunday, I believe.

The father of the prodigal son didn't go running after him. He let him go. And he watched and waited at the door, longing for reconciliation. He wasn't huffing and puffing and angry and morose about what a stupid and rebellious son he had. He was heartbroken about the whole affair.

And when the son turned homeward, and the Father saw him from a distance, then he ran to embrace him, and restore the relationship. So beautiful. I can't think about that without the song "When God Ran" by Phillips, Craig and Dean... goosebumps.

I posted the lyrics to this song time ago over at prologue, check it out here if you want;

http://prairieprologue.blogspot.com/2009/03/when-god-ran.html

Jude said...

I picked the same verse Prairie Chick but from a different translation (NIV) v3, 7, 19 "Restore us, O God, Make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved."
Indeed!
I would love to hear someone else's thoughts on this next musing: in this psalm I noticed what seems to me to be a reluctance of the psalmist to take responsibility for what has happened--"you have fed them with the bread of tears...you have made them drink tears by the bowlful, you have made us a source of contention to our neighbors". I am all for God being in control but what about their part in all this? And then at the end of the last two psalms, the promise to praise his name forever if he will just answer their prayer. We know that Israel/Judah as nations definitely did not do this. I can relate to all of this! And I guess the Israelites were sinful people just like me. I had just never really noticed this before. Do any of you see this? Or is this just my little area of sensitivity? Am I reading it incorrectly?

Prairie Chick said...

I think, as we see in the old testament passages that we are reading, that as a result of their abandoning God's ways... He does indeed "stir things up" if you will and cause them to drink tears and experience turmoil and strife. I don't believe that the Psalmist didn't recognize that this was consequences for their sin, more that he is just laying out the consequences. Make sense?

What I find interesting is how they are begging for him to relent, when all they need to do is turn to HIm and He is ready to embrace them. So the ball is in their court if they want reconciliation, no?

I think this chapter shows distortion of logic by emotion, the sense of "feeling" abandoned, and not realizing that they were actually the ones who did the abandoning. Feeling distanced from God and not realizing that HE never distanced Himself, and THEY need to draw near... just like the prodigal son needed to TURN homeward.

Doesn't that happen to us all the time? We feel like there is a ceiling separating us from God? We feel like He is so far removed at times? And yet it is our own choices, priorities and actions that put distance between us.

verse 14 says "God All-Powerful, COME BACK. Look down.... take care of us."

God never went away, and everything He ever did was with the purpose of awakening in His people a desire for THEM to come back.

There is indeed the lesson of fickle promises here too... "Oh Lord, if you only you do such and such... then I will do this and that...." a heart that is right with God will say, "whatever you do, Oh Lord, I will praise your name."

SO many things to ponder here!

Jude said...

Thanks for sharing those thoughts! It helps make my thoughts clearer as I process.

Denise said...

"Twice the writer calls on God to "turn us again to yourself." Before God can turn us to himself, we must turn away from sin. Repentance involves humbling ourselves and turning to God to receive his forgiveness. As we turn to God, he helps us see ourselves, including our sin, more clearly. Then, as we see our sin, we must repeat the process of repentance. Only then can we constantly be restored to fellowship with God."

Mac an Rothaich said...

Sorry it took me so long to comment on here but my man and I read this together again on Sunday and I wanted to say something even though it is late. Verses starting at 8 talking about Israel as a vine I found very intriguing considering all the relations to words spoken in the new testament using the vine metaphor. It reminded me of how we (the church) are a wild branch grafted on and how one day God will remember his original vine and bring his Hebrew people to himself again. This would be a perfect scripture to sing out at that time. I feel like the verse 19 will be fulfilled and answered with a 'Yes' in Jesus name. 'let your hand be upon the one at your right hand' rang true of Jesus.