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Summary: SEEKING GOD’S FAVOR IS THE FIRST STEP IN SPIRITUAL REVIVAL

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BIG IDEA:

SEEKING GOD’S FAVOR IS THE FIRST STEP IN SPIRITUAL REVIVAL

I. (:1-3) SEEKING THE FAVOR OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD

Trying to get God’s attention ("Oh, give ear, Shepherd of Israel")

tender, compassionate shepherd

A. (:1a) The Good Shepherd Can Provide Guidance and Direction

"Thou who dost lead Joseph like a flock"

B. (:1b) The Good Shepherd Is Enthroned in Majesty

“Thou who art enthroned above the cherubim, shine forth!”

C. (:2) The Good Shepherd Can Exercise His Power

“stir up Thy power, And come to save us!”

(:3) Refrain: "O God":

restore us

cause Thy face to shine upon us

save us

II. (:4-7) SEEKING THE FAVOR OF THE MASTER DISCIPLINARIAN

"O Lord God of hosts" = the Commander in Chief

stern, uncompromising leader

high expectations

wants to see commitment, sincerity, obedience

A. (:4) The Master Disciplinarian Can Get Pretty Angry

“How long wilt Thou be angry with the prayer of Thy people?”

B. (:5) The Master Disciplinarian Can Dish out some Painful Lessons

“Thou hast fed them with the bread of tears,

And Thou hast made them to drink tears in large measure.”

C. (:6) The Master Disciplinarian is Still Concerned with the Big Picture

appeal to His zeal for glory and honor

(:7) Refrain: "O God of hosts"

restore us

cause Thy face to shine upon us.save us

III. (:8-19) SEEKING THE FAVOR OF THE GREEN-THUMBED GOD

A. (:8-11) There was nothing wrong with the Initial Planting and Rapid Growth

1. Initial Planting

“Thou didst remove a vine from Egypt;

Thou didst drive out the nations, and didst plant it.

Thou didst clear the ground before it”

2. Rapid Growth

“And it took deep root and filled the land.

The mountains were covered with its shadow,

And the cedars of God with its boughs.

It was sending out its branches to the sea,

And its shoots to the River.”

B. (:12-13) The Present State of Distress is Very Surprising

no protection

easily oppressed and exploited by anyone

C. (:14-18) Plea for Renewed Attention

1. Seeking God’s attention

2. Based on what God has invested thus far

"the shoot which Thy right hand has planted"

"the son whom Thou hast strengthened for Thyself"

3. Based on the desperate condition of the plant

4. Based on God’s potential to strengthen

5. Based on the ultimate goal = a people who will not turn back, once revived

(:19) Refrain "O Lord God of hosts"

(notice the progression in this form of address in

the 3 repetitions of the refrain)

restore us

cause Thy face to shine upon us

save us

* * * * * * * * * *

DEVOTIONAL QUESTIONS:

1) What do we learn about the character of God and His providential care for His people from the images of God as:

Shepherd of Israel

the one enthroned above the cherubim

the God of hosts

the Husbandman of the vine

2) What special things do we do or say to try to gain God’s attention and spur Him into acting on our behalf? If we know that God never slumbers or sleeps, why do we need to implore Him to wake up and act on our behalf?

3) What are some of the special nurturing steps that God has performed in our lives?

What type of godly shepherding and loving care has He provided for us?


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