Summary: An exposition of Psalm 80
Islington Baptist Church October 23, 2005
Does God want to bless you or curse you?
Please help me out by filling in the blanks
Obedience to God brings ______________ Disobedience brings ____________
What do you think God’s desire is? To bless or to curse? I believe it’s to bless.
1. It is a prayer.
2. It’s a prayer for restoration, blessing, and salvation.
Three times it says “Restore us, O LORD God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.” Verse 3,7,19
3. It was prayed by those who were being judged by God.
4. The background of this prayer relates to the events of 722 B.C.
When Israel came to what we call the land of Israel, there were 12 tribes. As a result of God’s favor they inhabited the land, driving out- for the most part, the evil residents of the land. During the time of David all 12 tribes came to be ruled by one man: David. After David came Solomon. After Solomon, came a son who “dropped the ball”. Because of this ones foolishness Israel was divided into 2. The North, called Israel-comprising 10 tribes, and the South called Judah.
In terms of devotion to God and faithfulness, the North did the worst. Israel, for the most part, completely abandoned God. In 2 Kings 17 (quickview) , which we read this morning, we are told of what they did: they worshipped other gods, they built all sorts of outdoor worship centers that became centers of superstition and idol worship, they turned their backs on God’s laws and regulations, they refused to listen to God’s messengers, they engaged in witchcraft and sorcery and divination, they imitated the evil practices of all those around them.
Because of their sin, God brought the nation of Assyria against them. As a result, in 722 B.C, the North was overrun and the land was settled with Syrian captives from other nations.
5. This Psalm employs some very special word pictures
a. God as a Shepherd who leads his people like a shepherd leads a flock of sheep v.1
b. God as a light whose glorious face brings blessing upon all those He turns to v.1
c. Israel as a choice vine, selected, planted, nurtured, cultivated, and at one time protected by God- Now exposed, violated, ravaged, unprotected, burned, stomped on, and cut down v.8-16
Each of these images is fulfilled in Jesus. In John 1 (quickview)  Jesus is spoken of as the light of the world. In John 10 (quickview)  Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd. In John 15 (quickview)  Jesus speaks of himself as being the true vine, meaning that he embodied everything that the people of Israel should have been.
6. The appeal of this Psalm for deliverance and blessing goes way back.
Note in the text how the writer goes back to the time of Joseph, then the Exodus- during which God led Israel out of Egypt like a flock of sheep (Psalm 77:20 (quickview) 78:52), and then to King David and the promises God gave to him in 2 Samuel 7:1-17 (quickview) .
The reason the appeals of this Psalm go so far back is because the ones praying recognize that there is nothing about themselves to commend to God. Their appeal for restoration, blessing, and salvation thus stretches back to the promises and covenants that God made to their righteous ancestors.