The Bible says in Psalms 80:1, Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth. Many times the Bible, and especially the book of Psalms, compares believers in Jesus to sheep with Jesus as the Shepherd. The Shepherd guides the sheep, feeds the sheep, and protects the sheep. We certainly need to be guided. We do not know enough on our own to know what path to take or what decision to make. Thank God that we have a Shepherd to guide us with the teachings of the Word of God and with the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus feeds us. He uses the Word of God as our spiritual food so that we can be built up in the faith, so that we can be comforted, so that we can grow in Christ, and so that we can see what needs to be corrected in our lives. Jesus gives us teachers who have the gift to teach Gods Word. Find a good Bible-teaching church or start one, so that the will of God can be fulfilled in regards to having a congregation that is fed by the Shepherd. Jesus said to Peter, If you love me, feed my sheep. The Shepherd protects His believers. We definitely need to be protected. This is an evil world. There are many criminals. There are many people with murderous hatred for believers and other innocent people. There are natural disasters, diseases, and other dangers in life. How can we be protected? There is one sure way: have Jesus the Almighty God as your Shepherd. Jesus will only allow happen to you what He wants to happen.
The Bible says in Psalms 80:2-3, Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us. Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. The words save and saved are used in these two verses. When the Bible uses the word save, it is not always referring to the salvation of the soul. Sometimes it is referring to being saved from a trouble or a difficult situation of some kind. That is what the Psalmist was talking about here because the children of Israel were in trouble from other countries who would attack them and destroy them. How did the Israelites get into such trouble? It was a result of their own sins. But yes, we can ask the Lord to save us from our own deserved consequences. God has that much mercy and compassion. When we call upon Him, He will answer no matter what are the circumstances.
The Bible says in Psalms 80:4-7, 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. Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves. Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. Twice in verse five the Psalmist mentions tears. In verse six he mentions strife and he says, our enemies laugh. How can such things happen to believers? It is called the chastisement of God. If you belong to God through faith in Christ, you need to be rightly related to the Lord and be serving Him. If you do not, the Lord has ways of waking you up. It says in Hebrews 12:6, For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. One way to avoid such chastisement is to make sure that you keep your sins confessed. Irt says in First John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Notice that the Psalmist said at the start of verse seven, Turn us again, O God of hosts The Psalmist knew that they needed a revival, and only God could give that revival. The Lord must turn hearts back to Him. The problem is that hearts turned away from the Lord Jesus. Some went to the lusts of the flesh, some went to the pleasures of the world, and some just got too busy. But God has His ways of getting the attention of believers and convincing them that they need Him. We need that to happen today.
The Bible says in Psalms 80:8-11, Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land. The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars. She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river. As the Psalmist thinks about what his country needs from God: a revival, in these verses the Psalmist is reviewing what God did to establish them. Human beings did not raise up the great nation of Israel, God did that. God delivered them out of Egypt, God established them, God gave them victories over their enemies, and God made them great. That was how they got there: God did it.
The Psalmist asks a question in Psalms 80:12: Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? In this question the Psalmist recognizes that all of Israels troubles came from God. Just as God had raised Israel up, He had broken her down. The question is: why? The answer to that is: sin. Your sins will find you out. Be not deceived, God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap. The same problem is happening to America today.
The Psalmist wrote in Psalms 80:13-19, The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it. Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself. It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance. Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself. So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name. Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. The Psalmist goes back and forth in these verses between two ideas. 1. They are in a terrible state now. 2. Only God can deliver them. In verse seven the Psalmist asks God to Return, to look down from heaven, and to visit this vine. In verse seventeen he wrote, Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand. In verse eighteen the Psalmist asked God to quicken us. And in verse nineteen the Psalmist prayed, Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts. By the way, Israel still has not yet had that revival, but they will. Sat the return of Christ every Jew that is left alive after the Great Tribulation will have the Spirit of grace and supplication fall upon them, and they shall see Jesus, and trust in Him whom they have pierced.
Copyright; 2019 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
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