Restored to Favour

Scripture: Psalm 80:3, ‘Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.’

 

Observations: This verse acts as a refrain, which the Psalmist repeats in verse 7 and 19. The only difference is that each time the Psalmist expands God’s title, from ‘O God, (v3)’ to ‘O God Almighty, (v7)’ to ‘O Lord God Almighty. (v19)’ Again it seems that this Psalm was written after the destruction of Jerusalem, hinted at with phrases such as its ‘walls have been broken down, (v12)’ and it has been ‘burned with fire. (v16)’ Whatever the situation, the Psalmist begs God to ‘restore’ his fallen people, to ‘make his face shine upon them’ and ‘save’ them. The Psalmist desires that God restore his people back to their former relationship with him. They were once close to God, but now they are distant, and the Psalmist wants to be close to God again. This is reinforced by the beautiful imagery of God making his face shine upon his people. Once God looked upon his people with favour and delight, but now he looks upon them with anger (v4). The Psalmist wants God to look upon them with favour once again. The Psalmist desires to be saved by God. This salvation originally refers to physical deliverance from captivity, but more and more the Old Testament uses this term to describe spiritual deliverance. What the Psalmist desires most is that God would restore his people into his favour.

 

Application: What matters the most is not our current circumstances, whether life seems to be going well or not; but our spiritual circumstances, where we are in relation to God. We may seem to be blessed, but in fact God is far from us. Or we may seem to be cursed, and yet God looks upon us with favour. Rather than being saved from our situation, we need to be saved from our sin. Rather than being restored to physical health, we need to be restored to spiritual health. Rather than experiencing plenty of sunlight, we need to know God’s face is shining on us. Is God’s face shining on you?

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, all I need in heaven and on earth is You. Lord, may Your face shine upon me, may You look upon me with favour and delight, not because I am so good or so deserving, but because of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Lord, help me keep my focus off my circumstances, whatever they may be, and instead focus my attention on You. Lord, may my salvation in Christ always overshadow my current situation. May the fact that I have been restored into relationship with You, overshadow my circumstances. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

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