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Archive for October 6th, 2020

Political, Theological, and Social Commentary Westminster Presbyterian

Psalm 80, Restore Us, O God

To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Testimony. Of Asaph, a Psalm.

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
    you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.
    Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh,
stir up your might
    and come to save us!

Restore us, O God;
    let your face shine, that we may be saved!

4 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 themselve
s.

Restore us, O God of hosts;
    let your face shine, that we may be saved
!

The Church is grafted into Israel Romans 11:24 and she is the “Israel of God” Galatians 6:16, woven into the very narrative of God’s Covenant with Israel and her stories (see 1 Corinthians 10: 1-5: note that the Apostle refers to Moses, etc. as “our fathers”).

We know that we are part of Israel more and more these days as the Lord makes, “…us an object of contention for our neighbors/and our enemies laugh among themselves”. We know of this contention for a Supreme Court nominee to the worker who is derided as being “close-minded” when she tells her co-worker that she is a Christian. Since the Lord makes us “an object of contention“, then this means the Lord’s will is for the Church, as Israel, to be so for our neighbors. The true prophets of Israel, e. g. as Jeremiah, Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, were likewise a contention for their neighbors. Then we know that we are in the godly company of the patriarchs and prophets blest when we are derided. Our neighbors, as ourselves, all need to hear God’s saving truth and it will be contentious as the Lord contends for our salvation. Yet, as the remainder of the Psalm sings that the Lord planted His vine and those round about, “…burned it with fire; they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your face!” (vs. 16) But, “let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
    the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
18 Then we shall not turn back from you;
    give us life, and we will call upon your name!
(vss. 17-18)

He has planted the eternal vine, the vine stock of Jesus Christ, Son of Man, God’s beloved Son: I am the Vine, you are the branches (See John 15). This Psalm’s subtitle identifies it as a “testimony”: Lord open thou our lips to make the good testimony of the Savior in our neighbor. So as Israel, with Israel, that only in the Lord is our salvation and so we pray for the third time in Psalm 80

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!
    Let your face shine, that we may be saved
!

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