August 03 2023
Today, Thursday August 03
The “Restore Psalm”
To the Chief Musician. Set to ‘The Lilies.’ A Testimony of Asaph. A Psalm.
“Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth! Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, Stir up Your strength, And come and save us! Restore us, O God; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!”
Today, we will begin to look at Psalm 80. But before we do, let me share a personal prayer request this morning. Many of you have been faithfully praying for my preemie grandson Luke, who was born a year ago in June weighing a pound and a half. Miraculously, he has survived and is a real tough little kid! Right after his birth they discovered a brain bleed that required surgery to drain the bleed by inserting a shunt into his brain that goes down to his stomach. Just a few weeks ago, he began to get sick, and they found that the shunt had failed, and he went through a second surgery to reposition the shunt.
Last night Luke was sick again, and Kimberly and Chris felt like he was experiencing the same symptoms as before with the shunt failure and took him to the emergency room. The doctors have determined that there is another shunt failure and have scheduled surgery for around 7 am this morning. We know it is because of your prayers that he has made it this far with all the challenges he has gone through. Kimberly and Chris and our family would appreciate your special prayers again this morning and for the following days as he recovers. From our hearts, we want to thank you for all your prayers and support for Luke and his parents and family.
You can view details on Luke’s progress and condition at this link called micro guy/MACRO GOD: https://www.facebook.com/groups/744992976946015/
Now for our introduction to Psalm 80 which is a wonderful passage of Scripture as we cry out to the Lord to help and restore us for a time like this. From the title we know that Asaph again is the writer of this Psalm. We believe he was probably one of the descendants of the original Asaph of King David’s time. It was almost certainly written after the Assyrian invasion had uprooted and carried the northern tribes into captivity. Some think the psalm was written when Hezekiah invited the tattered remnants of Israel to come down and join Judah in commemorating the feasts.
Apparently Psalm 80 is Asaph's prayer to God on behalf of the Northern Kingdom ("Israel," "Samaria") after it was taken captive by Assyria in 722-21 B.C.. You will notice in the first two verses that four names are mentioned; Joseph, Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. While "Joseph" can refer to the whole nation (Psalm 77:15; 80:4-5), the mention in verse 2 of Ephraim and Manasseh (Joseph's sons) and Benjamin (Joseph's brother) suggests that the Northern Kingdom is meant. These are the children and grandchildren of Rachel, Jacob's favorite wife.
Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom, was located in the territory of the tribe of Ephraim. The temple was still standing in Jerusalem (v. 1), and the fall of Samaria should have been a warning to Judah not to disobey the Lord. That Asaph would pray for Samaria and ask God for restoration and reunion for the whole nation indicates that some of the old rivalries were ending and that some of the people of Judah were concerned over "the ruin of Joseph" (Amos 6:6).
It's unfortunate that it sometimes takes dissension, division, and destruction to bring brothers closer together. The story of Joseph and his brothers in the last chapters of Genesis is a case in point.
The refrain "Restore us" (vv. 3, 7, 19) is used three times in this chapter as a prayer request for the Lord to bring healing and reconciliation to the nation of Israel. Years ago, in my Bible, I wrote over this Psalm, “The Restore Psalm”. I have prayed this Psalm many times asking the Lord to visit me with His strength, wisdom and courage as I have faced the challenges of life and that of a pastor.
Today, I trust you will make Psalm 80 a special prayer for yourself, for your family, for your church and for our nation!