Read: Psalms 80:1-7; 17-19
Listen, Shepherd of Israel, who leads Joseph like a flock; you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine on Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh. Rally your power and come to save us. Restore us, God; make your face shine on us, so that we may be saved. Lord God of Armies, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers? You fed them the bread of tears and gave them a full measure of tears to drink. You put us at odds with our neighbors; our enemies mock us. Restore us, God of Armies; make your face shine on us, so that we may be saved.
Let your hand be with the man at your right hand, with the son of man you have made strong for yourself. Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. Restore us, Lord, God of Armies; make your face shine on us, so that we may be saved.
Our story really isn’t that different from the Jews. As they were waiting in anticipation for the coming of the Messiah, they lived in a constant back and forth of faithfulness and unfaithfulness. In other words, they were sometimes really good and followed God and what He wanted them to do. Other times (which seemed like most of the time), they did not follow God. They sinned. We sin, too. Because of our sin, we can relate to the prayer offered in Psalm 80. “…stir up your might and come save us!” Isn’t that what we say? “God, I want you to do something! Come and save me from all of my mistakes!”
The Jews were waiting for their Messiah to come. They were asking God to send Him. Even when Jesus came, they, for the most part, did not recognize Him as the Messiah. We have the benefit of living on this side of history. We know that Jesus has already come, that He has already won the battle and forgiven us of our sins. He has indeed saved us! So we wait for Christmas in anticipation of remembering and celebrating when Jesus did finally come into our world. We also get to wait in anticipation for His second coming. This is the significance of advent.
Re-read the passage three times in a row without stopping.
What stood out to you? What do you think God is trying to communicate to you though this passage?