Tuesday, December 18, 2007

God's Glory, Save his People

Today's devotional from "at home with the word" is based on Psalm 80.

This song is a call to God, the shepherd of his people. It is a call to God to save his people.

1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.
2Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh,
stir up your might
and come to save us!

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

The Psalmist asks: how long will you be angry O Lord God? How long will you be angry? You have disciplined your people, we have cried, we have been laughed at, and we have become merely an object of contention among our neighbours. Restore us o Lord is the cry.

4O LORD God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
5You have fed them with the bread of tears
and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6 You make us an object of contention for our neighbors,
and our enemies laugh among themselves.

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

Look at what you have done for us already Lord. You brought us out of Egypt, you filled the land with us. You made us great! And now oh Lord....why must you let us be ravaged? Why are we fodder for those who surround us? Turn and see us oh Lord God, cries the Psalmist. See us, see what you made, see what our enemies have done to us. See us O God is the cry.

8You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
9You cleared the ground for it;
it took deep root and filled the land.
12Why then have you broken down its walls,
so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13 The boar from the forest ravages it,
and all that move in the field feed on it.

14Turn again, O God of hosts!
Look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
15the stock that your right hand planted,
and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.
16They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down;
may they perish at the rebuke of your face!
17But let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
18Then we shall not turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call upon your name!

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

Therepeated call to The Lord in this Psalm is "restore us, O lord God of hosts, let your face shine, that we might be saved". This is a call for God's glory to be seen, and as his glory is seen, his people are saved.

I read this Psalm and part of me feels a bit distanced from it. I often don't FEEL the need for God to save me. I am often so independent minded that I think.... I can do this. I can save myself. But it's that kind of thinking, that I'm independent of God, that kind of thinking that got the Israelites into trouble in the first place. We don't need to depend on God....we want a king to lead us just like everyone else. I don't need God...I can worship this idol. I don't need God...I can do good deeds and be nice and ......

See where this is going?

I do need God. I do need to call out to him regularly, this shows my reliance upon him. This shows how much I do need him in my life. I need him to save him...because I CANNOT do it on my own. No one can.

God is the only way.

This Christmas season I need to, YOU need to, see this. That God is indeed the only way to be saved. Without him there is no salvation. Without him we are fodder for our enemies....who are indeed the very enemies of God himself. Let us not be fodder!

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