Psalms 80

1 Listen, Shepherd, Israel's Shepherd - get all your Joseph sheep together. Throw beams of light from your dazzling throne
2 So Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh can see where they're going. Get out of bed - you've slept long enough! Come on the run before it's too late.
3 God, come back! Smile your blessing smile: That will be our salvation.
4 God, God of the angel armies, how long will you smolder like a sleeping volcano while your people call for fire and brimstone?
5 You put us on a diet of tears, bucket after bucket of salty tears to drink.
6 You make us look ridiculous to our friends; our enemies poke fun day after day.
7 God of the angel armies, come back! Smile your blessing smile: That will be our salvation.
8 Remember how you brought a young vine from Egypt, cleared out the brambles and briers and planted your very own vineyard?
9 You prepared the good earth, you planted her roots deep; the vineyard filled the land.
10 Your vine soared high and shaded the mountains, even dwarfing the giant cedars.
11 Your vine ranged west to the Sea, east to the River.
12 So why do you no longer protect your vine? Trespassers pick its grapes at will;
13 Wild pigs crash through and crush it, and the mice nibble away at what's left.
14 God of the angel armies, turn our way! Take a good look at what's happened and attend to this vine.
15 Care for what you once tenderly planted - the vine you raised from a shoot.
16 And those who dared to set it on fire - give them a look that will kill!
17 Then take the hand of your once-favorite child, the child you raised to adulthood.
18 We will never turn our back on you; breathe life into our lungs so we can shout your name!
19 God, God of the angel armies, come back! Smile your blessing smile: That will be our salvation.

Psalms 80 Commentary

Chapter 80

The psalmist complains of the miseries of the church. (1-7) Its former prosperity and present desolation. (8-16) A prayer for mercy. (17-19)

Verses 1-7 He that dwelleth upon the mercy-seat, is the good Shepherd of his people. But we can neither expect the comfort of his love, nor the protection of his arm, unless we partake of his converting grace. If he is really angry at the prayers of his people, it is because, although they pray, their ends are not right, or there is some secret sin indulged in them, or he will try their patience and perseverance in prayer. When God is displeased with his people, we must expect to see them in tears, and their enemies in triumph. There is no salvation but from God's favour; there is no conversion to God but by his own grace.

Verses 8-16 The church is represented as a vine and a vineyard. The root of this vine is Christ, the branches are believers. The church is like a vine, needing support, but spreading and fruitful. If a vine do not bring forth fruit, no tree is so worthless. And are not we planted as in a well-cultivated garden, with every means of being fruitful in works of righteousness? But the useless leaves of profession, and the empty boughs of notions and forms, abound far more than real piety. It was wasted and ruined. There was a good reason for this change in God's way toward them. And it is well or ill with us, according as we are under God's smiles or frowns. When we consider the state of the purest part of the visible church, we cannot wonder that it is visited with sharp corrections. They request that God would help the vine. Lord, it is formed by thyself, and for thyself, therefore it may, with humble confidence, be committed to thyself.

Verses 17-19 The Messiah, the Protector and Saviour of the church, is the Man of God's right hand; he is the Arm of the Lord, for all power is given to him. In him is our strength, by which we are enabled to persevere to the end. The vine, therefore, cannot be ruined, nor can any fruitful branch perish; but the unfruitful will be cut off and cast into the fire. The end of our redemption is, that we should serve Him who hath redeemed us, and not go back to our old sins.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 80 Commentaries