Day 32: Psalm 80

1 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
    you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
    shine forth 2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might;
    come and save us.

3 Restore us, O God;
    make your face shine on us,
    that we may be saved.

4 How long, Lord God Almighty,
    will your anger smolder
    against the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears;
    you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
6 You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors,
    and our enemies mock us.

7 Restore us, God Almighty;
    make your face shine on us,
    that we may be saved.

8 You transplanted a vine from 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 Its branches reached as far as 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 insects from the fields feed on it.
14 Return to us, 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.
17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
    the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you;
    revive us, and we will call on your name.

19 Restore us, Lord God Almighty;
    make your face shine on us,
    that we may be saved.


Psalm 80 is the corporate prayer of a disoriented people. They are a people who describe themselves as a community who is mocked by their neighbors, vulnerable to their enemies, plundered by everyone, and ravaged by the ungodly and ‘boar-like’ world around them. In this psalm we see a people much more aware of their desperate national circumstance than their personal unfaithfulness. Yet their unfaithfulness, although not clearly stated, is very much implied. The guiding, protecting, and instructing rule of God, which was once enthroned above the cherubim on top of the ark, no longer remains. They have set themselves upon their throne.

He is the vinedresser who rescued them from Egypt and set aside a specific piece of property for them to be transplanted. His clearing of the land and blessings were the source of their abundance. He, the vinedresser, has been dismissed from the garden. However...

Even in their despair, Israel has not forgotten that its last and best hope lies in the authority of God. “Turn away from your anger and ‘return to us.’ Remember that your work is not finished here. We will be faithful,” is their prayer. ‘Restore us, O God; make your face to shine on us, that we may be saved,’ is their plea.

Make the prayer of Psalm 80 your prayer today. Surrender the throne of your home and life to God. Pray for new life in Him. Commit to regularly praying the refrain: ‘Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.’


Phil Starr | Student Ministries Pastor, Lima Community Church

Brad Taylor