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PSALM 80 - Looser's Song 21 Jan 2020

This psalm holds a beautiful imagery of the care of God for Israel.

God's Care Left

Now the the psalmist is crying. Help us. See our lack of power. No father or mother would remain indifferent. Or ...
perhaps the child needs to learn to walk alone.

Missing Response

There is no: "we have sinned," no "we lived with injustice", no "we did not care for the widow and the fatherless," no "we worshipped false gods."

What about me and my church?

I may like this (powerful?) psalm, my church may like this psalm. Am I really confessing the wrong I have done? Is my church confessing the wrong we are still doing? Is my church caring for the widow and fatherless? If I pray to God for a miracle for the church, I may be like a wizard (and worshipping an idol). I need to become responsible for my mission. I need to pray to the Holy Spirit to guide me into the mission of Christ.

Psalm 80

1 [For the choirmaster Tune: 'The decrees are lilies'
Of Asaph. Psalm]
Shepherd of Israel, listen, you who lead Joseph like a flock,
enthroned on the winged creatures, shine forth
2 over Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh;
rouse your valour and come to our help.
3 God, bring us back,
let your face shine on us and we shall be safe.
4 Yahweh, God Sabaoth,
how long will you flare up at your people's prayer?
5 You have made tears their food,
redoubled tears their drink.
6 You let our neighbours quarrel over us,
our enemies mock us.
7 God Sabaoth, bring us back,
let your face shine on us and we shall be safe.
8 You brought a vine out of Egypt,
to plant it you drove out nations;
9 you cleared a space for it,
it took root and filled the whole country.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
and the cedars of God with its branches,
11 its boughs stretched as far as the sea,
its shoots as far as the River.
12 Why have you broken down its fences?
Every passer-by plucks its grapes,
13 boars from the forest tear at it,
wild beasts feed on it.
14 God Sabaoth, come back, we pray,
look down from heaven and see, visit this vine;
15 protect what your own hand has planted.
16 They have thrown it on the fire like dung,
the frown of your rebuke will destroy them.
17 May your hand protect those at your side,
the child of Adam you have strengthened for yourself!
18 Never again will we turn away from you,
give us life and we will call upon your name.
19 God Sabaoth, bring us back,
let your face shine on us and we shall be safe.

Excerpt from THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1985 by
Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division
of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.


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