Monday, December 17, 2012

Psalm for Sunday, December 23, 2012


Psalm 80:  2-3, 15-16, 18-19

 "O Shepherd of Israel, hearken,
and come to save us."

This Psalm is a prayer to restore
Israel, and by extension to restore us,
as a scattered people of God.
The Psalm is well adapted to our
prayer during Advent.  We are a people
scattered and separated from God, and
we await His coming; He alone can
'make us turn to Him' and convert us.
 “Shepherd of Israel, lend an ear …
come to save us.”


Our psalmist makes a direct appeal
to God to shepherd us.  “Turn again
Lord ... attend to this vine.”  Just as
the Lord tends to His vineyard, He
protects a shoot planted by His right
hand.  The coming of Christ is intended
to revive us, restore our strength.  
As the Psalm says, “Then we will not
withdraw from you; revive us, and
we will call on your name.”


Where does our hope for revival
come from?  It comes from our Savior,
sent by the Lord, our cornerstone.
In Him we are restored.   “Lord of
hosts restore us; let your face shine
upon us, that we may be saved.”


We all need to be renewed from
time to time when our faith grows
lukewarm, when our hearts harden
due to the sins that separate us from
God.   We, like the Israelites,  need
to beg for God’s mercy, to petition
the Lord and seek his peace, the peace
that will guard our hearts and minds,
and restore us as His people.



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm says, 'Lord, make us turn to you ....' 
Have you noticed at times when we stray off His path
how the Lord tugs at each of us so that we return to His ways. 
Give an example from your own experience.


2.  Our psalmist is writing about the scattered people of Israel,
but his words may apply to each of us in our separation from God.
In what way are you inspired by the Psalm's verses to repent
and seek renewal, especially during this season of Advent?


  1. I can think of no better example of pure evil running amok than the massacre that occured in Connecticut this last week. Innocent small children, that were not even known to the killer, were killed with 5 or 6 bullets. This is truly horrific, and we should all be down on our knees, begging God to come back to us.

    The United States was founded and had close ties to God from it's very inception. We were truly "God Blessed." But no more. We are no longer "luke warm" in what we tolerate and accept. We've turned "icey cold" and away from God. The time to pray is now.

  2. There were times, many, many times, I was scattered and separated from God as Israel's people were. Lately I was compelled to do things which made me worn out. I was so stressed out physically and emotionally. My mind was void. In a situation like this, I couldn't think straight at all. Even a habitual prayer didn't work. Thinking God must know and understand my dulled heart, I went to Confession habitually. Neither of them set me free. Do you know why? I didn't make a true repentance before God. I didn't see my sins against God clearly. I didn't turn away from sin.

    I realized one thing -- If I truly repent and turn to God, He helps me see myself and my sin more clearly. And then with His Grace He'll restore my fellowship with Him. I'll receive His forgiveness. Accordingly, He'll let his face shine upon me. His Presence within me will bring peace and overflowing joy. In this way God revives me and restores me to my relationship with Him through my true repentance. Especially during this season of Advent, I am waiting for his second coming to rescue us and set us free for our salvation.