Psalm 80 just struck me through some of the images it uses:
You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have made them drink tears by the bowlful
What a picture this paints for us. The depths at which the Psalmist feels, the heart ache at this time is evident for us to see. Even the way they describe what has taken place is very powerful:
. 8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. 9 You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land. 10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches. 11 It sent out its boughs to the Sea, its shoots as far as the River. 12 Why have you broken down its walls so that all who pass by pick its grapes? 13 Boars from the forest ravage it and the creatures of the field feed on it. 14 Return to us, O God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see! Watch over this vine, 15 the root your right hand has planted, the son you have raised up for yourself. 16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire; at your rebuke your people perish.
Here the Psalmist captures the history of Israel; saved out of Egypt and established in the promised land and now judged by God in the exile.
Many of these Psalms (79-84) reveal the pain of the period of exile. Psalm 80 shows us the Psalmist grief at the destruction of the nation. Though they feel the great sorrow of this time they still recognize where salvation comes:
19 Restore us, O LORD God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
Our salvation too came from a face shining:
6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Cor 4:6
Leave a Reply