A church that I know of invests every Wednesday evening to study the Book of Psalms. Each of those evenings is dedicated to just one psalm and to complete the entire Psalter (150 psalms) takes three years. I say they “invests” because that’s exactly what it is. About half of the psalms are of or for David, the second king of Israel circa 1050 B.C. Some of David’s psalms deal with being chased by the first king, Saul, who displeased God who chose David to replace Saul. Others deal with other matters, such as Psalm 80, which calls on the Lord to save Israel from the Assyrians.
What had happened was that after the rule of David’s son, Solomon, the kingdom of Israel split with one of Solomon’s sons, Jeroboam, ruling the northern kingdom of Israel, while another son, Rehoboam, ruled the southern kingdom of Judah. The northern kingdom had continued Solomon’s later practice of including and worshipping false gods in the temple that was dedicated for Yahweh only. All of the Twelve Tribes of God’s chosen had incurred God’s wrath by insisting that they have a human king. God desired that they be ruled by judges who would deliver governance and judgments based on God’s Word. That was not enough for sinful man. We inherited the sinful nature in which is instilled in us the desire to be god and be worshipped. We want to impress others for the purpose of winning their approval. Both Israel and later Judah also celebrated diversity by intermarrying with people of false gods (yes, false gods—only the Triune God is God), thinking that they were clever, good, and persuasive enough to impress and manipulate others. What resulted was an invasion of northern Israel by Assyria that was pounding the walls of capital city Samaria when Psalm 80 was written.
“Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved!” The song has good reason to begin with that because the next verse explains why—God had done wonders for them in the past, including delivering them from slavery in Egypt. “You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.” Notice that the Israelites did nothing. God did it all.
That’s a lesson we Christians often forget, as inheritors of the promise given to Abraham. Why we believe and others do not is a mystery, but it is not anything we do. God chooses His people. (Ephesians 1:4-5; John 6:44; Romans 8:29-30, et al) But we do not wait for others to join us in singing or saying Psalm 80 for His salvation. There is only one Savior and He is Jesus Christ. We can pray these verses from Psalm 80 as a prayer for ourselves and each other. The Psalm gives thanks to God for putting His hand on David “for yourself”. “But let your hand be on the man of your right hand, the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself.” Jesus is strong for His heavenly Father. All things must be for the glory of God because only He is the granter of life. O come, let us worship Him… Gloria Deo—Glory to God